Francis of Delirium in the same agency as Brad Pitt, Beyonce, …

Besides a healthy dose of talent and undeniable success in the world of music, what do Adele, Stromae, Mumford & Sons, Dua Lipa and Rosalia have in common? Before exploding in front of the world, they were all winners of the Music Moves Europe Awards. A prize created a few years ago, in collaboration with the European Commission, to help certain emerging European talents to break through internationally. An award given each year in January on the sidelines of the Eurosonic festival, in Groningen in the Netherlands.

And this year, for the very first time, Luxembourg is lucky to have an artist among the fifteen nominated: Francis of Delirium. A small event in itself therefore for the Luxembourg music industry.

A meeting… at the music club after school

Francis of Delirium is a project which, at its core, is a rather singular mixed duo. On one side, Jana Bahrich, 20, guitarist and singer. On the other Chris Hewett, a native of Seattle, almost 30 years older on the clock, drummer of the group at the origin, but that his little protegee defines today mainly as his “co-producer”. They met at the… rock club that Chris hosted especially for his children after school. It cannot be invented. So that’s where it all started.

From now on, they are therefore waiting for the ceremony on January 20 to find out if they will be among the six winners of the 2022 edition of these Music Moves Europe Awards. And will leave the Netherlands with, in addition to having registered their name in the small notebook of a good number of important musical decision-makers, a check for 10,000 euros.

On BBC Radio 1

“I admit that this money would not hurt. This would allow us to… change cars” smiles Jana, the young singer/leader. “There we are shooting in a Volkswagen Passat. Each time, we have to dismantle the battery to bring it in… I dream of having a van.”

That hasn’t stopped Francis of Delirium—which performs three on stage with drummer Dany Schumacher and bassist Jeff Hennico—from touring Britain this fall.

About ten dates. Nothing too extravagant, but still enough to realize that, on the other side of the Channel, some people already knew their songs and were even already able to sing them at the same time as Jana on stage. Also enough to get the tracks “All Love” and “Come Out and Play” played on BBC Radio 1, one of the most renowned music radio stations in the world. And to be interviewed there on the evening show, the one reserved for new indie sounds.

On tour in the United States and on the radars of Pitchfork, Stereogum,…

The next step? After passing through Groningen in January, a second tour of around ten dates in England” is scheduled for February. Before a departure for the United States where Jana and her acolytes will ensure in March and April the first part of a rock group with an already well established reputation, The Districts. And this, across the whole country for around thirty concerts. With the final bouquet, a participation in a festival in Atlanta alongside Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, Chvrches, Biffy Clyro,…

An American tour that could well catch the eye of many US music blogs. Pitchfork, NPR, Stereogum, The Fader, Line of Best Fit, Paste Magazine, Consequence of Sound, etc. In fact, many reference media have already spoken about Jana and her band in recent months, thus highlighting the mini-albums “All Change” and “Wading” or the track “All love”.

Stereogum thus even placed a few days ago
“Wading” in his 25 best EPs of the year
and Francis of Delirium in
the 40 new artists of 2021 to follow
, alongside a string of other emerging talents such as New York rockers Geese or the already star Olivia Rodrigo. A rather unprecedented situation for a Luxembourg artist. Like many things relating to this group, you will have already understood it.

Citizen of the world

This beginning of (good) reputation on American soil, it is above all to his music that Francis of Delirium owes it. Music, resolutely rock, which has already evolved quite a bit since the group’s debut in 2019. A bit like Jana Bahrich, born in… Belgium to Canadian parents—teachers—who then lived in Canada and Switzerland , but who only really feels at home when she is in Luxembourg. A country where she has lived since 2014.

The rocker born in Belgium to Canadian parents and who feels above all Luxembourgish.

(Photo: Guy Wolff/Modern House)

When asked to define her music, she likes to talk about “pop music. But a pop music dressed in grunge or indie rock tones.” It stands. And sounds in any case perfectly in tune with the times. Listening to him, one thinks first of all of the incredible Australian Courtney Barnett. And in spirit, it sticks with the Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers, Japanese Breakfast, Julien Baker, etc. which the Anglo-Saxon press loves.

At CAA, like Brad Pitt, Beyonce,…

Since the first concert at the Screaming Fields Festival in July 2019, it’s not just the sound of Francis of Delirium that has changed. The entourage of the group too. From now on, Jana Bahrich can notably count on two managers—one of whom still works for the famous 4AD label (Pixies, Bon Iver, The National, etc.)—but also a “PR” (“press relation”) located in the United States. United. Recruited directly by the singer—he was taking care of an artist he liked, so she contacted him directly, on the nerve—it was the latter who put the trendy American media on the track of the Luxembourg combo.

And then, on the side, the group now has a booker (or “turner” in French, it is he who organizes the tours) for the American territory. And not just anyone, since he also takes care of very big names (Tame Impala, The National, etc.) and is part of CAA (“Creative Artists Agency”), the representation agency considered to be the No. the world (Brad Pitt, Beyonce, Leonardo Di Caprio,… are, for example, at home).

“There is truly an alignment of the planets around Francis of Delirium” explained a few days ago to Paperjam Michel Welter de l’Atelier. Difficult to prove him wrong in view of all the above. Rarely (if ever), have we seen a Luxembourg musical artist in such a favorable situation to attempt an international breakthrough.

It remains to be hoped that 2022—a year that should be marked by the group’s debut album—will succeed in realizing these hopes.

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Francis of Delirium in the same agency as Brad Pitt, Beyonce, …