'You can't stop producing': why Dominique Fils-Aimé released an album during the pandemic

In the 2nd instalment of CBC Music's COVID Diaries, the Montreal artist reveals how she stayed creative.

On the latest COVID Diaries, the Montreal artist reveals how she stayed creative

Dominique Fils-Aimé | Covid Diaries

5 months ago
Duration 6:12
In the 2nd instalment of CBC Music's COVID Diaries, Montreal artist Dominique Fils-Aimé reveals how she stayed creative during the pandemic and the reason why she decided to record and release her third album, Three Little Words, instead of waiting for restrictions to ease up.

When the pandemic hit Canada in March 2020, Montreal artist Dominique Fils-Aimé was about to embark on a European tour. At first, Fils-Aimé, like many people, thought COVID-19 would only force people into lockdown for a few weeks — a month at most. But as the weeks and months rolled by, Fils-Aimé realized that this break might be a "blessing in disguise." 

In Episode 2 of CBC Music's COVID Diaries, we follow Fils-Aimé as she hits the stage again (in 2021, just before the Omicron wave) to promote her third album, Three Little Words, which was recorded and released during the pandemic. While the concept for the third instalment of Fils-Aimé's trilogy, which follows 2018's Nameless and 2019's Stay Tuned!, had existed for years, the decision to record and release it last year was complicated. 

"There was no show, no launch, no humans," she told CBC Music. "So we did it online, which was still fun because we got to film it — it was livestreamed on Bandcamp — and we got to film it in the studio where I actually recorded it so it felt like an opportunity to invite people into my little safe space, and discover where the whole trilogy happened."

Fils-Aimé knew that the album might not reach as many listeners as it would had she waited for restrictions to ease up to tour and promote, but she argues that the message of her album — which, according to her bio, expresses "the understanding that light cannot come without first going through a period of darkness" — was so relevant to what was happening in the world that it simply needed to be put out there, for "the people who needed to hear it at that moment." 

Watch the video above and stay tuned for more COVID Diaries to come. 

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.