KASHTIN Biography

KASHTIN "Tornado"

Kashtin truly is a Canadian First Nations Folk Rock Treasure. Musicians Claude McKenzie and Florent Vollant became friends while living on the Maliotenam reserve located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River close to Sept-Iles, Quebec.

Like many musicians, Vollant started his career playing cover tunes and often set lists would include old songs from Montagnais native heritage. Kashtin was formed after Vollant met and began playing with McKenzie in 1984. "Kashtin" in the native Innu language means "tornado."

Claude and Florent (Kashtin) As a duo, they became celebrities in Northern Quebec playing at bars and festivals. A Montreal-based TV film crew made the trip north to a festival in order to capture footage at for a documentary about the Montagnais natives. While making their television debut Kashtin caught the eyes and ears of Guy Trepanier, head of Montreal's Groupe Concept Musique. 

Guy brought them down to Montreal at Studio Concept, directed, produced and realized their first album; the self-titled "Kashtin" was released across Canada and quickly sold 100K units in Quebec. Regardless of the fact that the entire album was in Kashtin's native Innu language, the album went double platinum in Canada. This is impressive as under 13K people communicate in Innu worldwide. Kashtin toured extensively across Canada,  South Korea and in Europe where in 1990 they achieved Top 10 in France. 

In 1991 Vollant and McKenzie released the second Kashtin album titled "Innu". With a growing fan base, glowing reviews and more touring Innu went Platinum in Canada and was picked up for release in the US. 

Kashtin's third album "Akua Tuta" was simultaneously released in the US and Canada in 1994. The title track was chosen by Robbie Robertson for his television soundtrack "Music for The Native Americans", and was also used on Due South in the episode "Hawk and a Handsaw."

In 1996, still produced by Guy, McKenzie released his first solo album titled "Innu Town" a rhythm-driven "Kashtin" style collection that highlights Claude's unique voice and captivating energy.

Fans around the world have fallen in love with Kashtin. We welcome you to open your soul and experience the beautiful Innu spirit within the Kashtin sound.