Mentoring and collaboration are key to success as a startup. This fall’s cohort of Reverb received invaluable guidance from Advisors — an esteemed group of entrepreneurs and musicians from across Canada who are generously offering to share their wisdom. This week, we’re featuring François Lamoureux!
François is a composer and musician whose music, film and television projects have won a Grammy, Emmy, Juno, Gemini and many other awards. In 2000, he started FogoLabs, which brings together the artistic, scientific and project management talents and experiences of him and his brother, Pierre — who was an early inspiration to him.
Throughout his childhood, François played many instruments starting with the violin at age three. After a few years of that, Pierre, who is seven years older, inspired the switch to piano.
“I go ‘I really want to play piano because you don’t need to practice when you play piano because my brother never practices,’” he says.
“I asked my mom to change and she said, ‘Sure, you can do piano if you want.’ I realized my brother’s just a slacker, he should’ve been practicing and I wanted to go back to violin because now I have to read two staff’s instead of just one.”
Inspired again by his brother, François jumped to ukulele and then guitar, and started playing in bands. After moving from Toronto to a small town with not much to do, François learned how to make money through music, and got his first royalty check in the mail at age 13.
From there, he studied music at McGill University, taking as many science classes as possible, and finishing his degree early at 20 years old. Following a three month stint teaching High School science, he hit the road with his band and hasn’t looked back.
“I never tried to make money in music, I knew I could make money but I never tried to. I just wanted to do music and be really good at it. I took sort of a vow of poverty as a kid, so the fact that we did end up doing okay allows me to think about other things.”
These days, François is involved in an exhaustive list of roles and projects. To name a few, he’s the President of CXC, a science focused research centre, is mentoring in a variety of capacities, investing in companies, developing young musical talent through a small label he runs, and about to begin filming an Opera. If that wasn’t enough, François makes sure to play guitar and write songs everyday.
His involvement with Reverb came through his close relationship with the National Music Centre — and he’s enjoyed helping corral the energy of the companies and their founders.
“It’s fun to see some kids, as I call them, very motivated and driven and having great ideas and being passionate. To me, that needs to be nurtured.”
François’ book recommendations: Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business by Fredric Dannen & Tragedy and Triumph: The Journals of Captain R F Scott’s Last Polar Expedition by R F ScottBack