Homegrown singer Rêve, born Briannah Donolo, is enjoying the kind of success her impressive singing and songwriting chops well deserve, garnering legions of fans across the planet who can’t get enough of her chart-topping dance recordings like Juno winning CTRL + ALT + DEL. We sat down with the astrologically inclined talent (who, FYI, is a Pisces) to get her take on making it in a fiercely competitive industry, connecting to fans, and of course, her favourite Montreal party and dance spots.

Rêve, there’s no question that your career trajectory in a challenging and rapidly evolving industry has been fascinating since first singing the national anthems in 2014. What would you say are your most important lessons or takeaways for aspiring singers and songwriters looking to make an impact in today’s landscape? The music industry has changed dramatically over the last ten years since my anthem debut, and even more radically in the last four with the rise of Tiktok. It has single-handedly changed the landscape of the music industry, most notably in the way that we consume, market, and promote. There is now more pressure than ever on the artist to not only write and perform but also become somewhat of an influencer and content creator in order to spearhead their own buzz. In a market that has become so oversaturated, it is more important than ever to dig deep, find out what makes YOU truly unique, and infuse that into every facet of your art and every keystroke on social media.

When it comes to storytelling, you don’t shy away from sharing personal stories, as evidenced in Tongue and Breaking Up With Jesus. As an artist, are you seeking to communicate or evoke any specific messages or feelings in your listeners? Music and songwriting have always been my safe havens. I think there is a part of the human experience that romanticizes the concept of being misunderstood. The right song or the right artist can come along and break that fourth wall to make you feel SEEN. Growing up, artists like Robyn, Madonna, Annie Lennox, and even Lady Gaga had that effect on me, and when it came time to embark on my artistic journey, I wanted people to find pieces of themselves in my songwriting like I did in my idols’. The underlying theme of my entire discography is not only radical self-acceptance but also the unapologetic celebration of what makes us unique.

This is our Connexion Edition, and you clearly maintain a powerful bond with fans. How do you manage to keep that genuine connection while balancing the myriad pressures of the music industry? Great question—I’m still trying to figure that out. It’s very easy to lose yourself in areas of the music industry that aren’t even about the music at all. Whether it be politics, an algorithm, or the anxiety of the unknown, it is so important to recalibrate on the daily to safeguard balance (and your peace). Whenever I feel untethered or overwhelmed, a songwriting session, playing a live show, or connecting with my audience will bring me back to centre.

Inspiring us as you do to surrender to the beat means you know a thing—or many!— about the best dance destinations in the city. Can you share your top three? Nobody does it quite like Montreal! Here are my top picks:

1. LE BAR BABY (3002 Rue Saint-Antoine West)

I walked into bar Baby for the first time last year and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of “NEWstalgia”. This intimate nightclub feels fresh yet familiar, and the dancefloor is always refreshingly packed with party-goers who come to dance rather than stand around on their phones.

2. VELVET SPEAKEASY (426 St. Gabriel)

This Montreal institution was responsible for the start of my love affair with dance music years ago and has only gotten better with time. It is an undeniably sexy venue, and the DJ line- ups boast the best up-and-comers and taste-makers in the electronic scene.

3. SANS SOLEIL (1002 Saint-Urbain)

This hidden gem is one of my favourite Montreal hangouts. Nestled in the basement of Fleurs et Cadeaux in Chinatown, Sans Soleil is one of the most unique nightlife experiences Montreal has to offer. Not only do the DJs spin vinyl all night long, but their cocktails are to die for!

Finally, the milestones are piling up, including the ‘23 release of Saturn Return (great name, btw), which did mark a move into a new chapter of adulthood. What’s next on the agenda? What can fans look forward to? Fans can look forward to a ton of new music, exciting collaborations, and live shows across North America over the summer!

For more on this dream personality and her dreamworthy music:

By Jenn Campbell

Montreal-based luxury lifestyle social magazine. for lovers of: parties, solid fashion, fine eats, sexy escapes, the best in fitness and health trends, motivating quotage, good pop and other culture, celebrity fabulousness and the whole luxury lifestyle landscape in general.

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