Gonzales (also known as Chilly Gonzales) is an MC meets keyboarding-producer meets singer extraordinaire. At a young age Gonzales was introduced to the piano by his parents and over-achieving brother. Using the instrument as an avenue of self-expression, he quickly advanced into the production realm. Through his Hollywood-based older brother, Gonzales wrote music for soundtracks under various aliases. Though born in Canada, the artist took up residence in Europe just after signing to Kitty-Yo, mainly in Germany or France. Known for his often comical live shows, complete with MCing, Gonzales branched off to singing with Kitty-Yo labelmate Peaches in 2000 for the single "Red Leather." His debut full-length, 2000's Gonzales Uber Alles, was followed later that year by The Entertainist. Touring and collaborating with Peaches brought both artists more noteriety, with the press nicknaming the duo the "Bonnie and Clyde of prankster rap." Gonzales stepped back into the studio and recorded 2002's Presidential Suite, but moved from Berlin to Paris during 2003 and inaugurated a co-production relationship with Renaud Letang (Manu Chao). He was also instrumental in the production of Feist's award-winning Let It Die, having toured with her and recorded songs from an early demo stage. Gonzales and Letang also recorded with French pop royalty, including Jane Birkin (her 2004 duets album Rendez-Vous) and Charles Aznavour (sessions eventually canceled by Aznavour), as well as Christophe Willem. When Gonzales returned to his own career in 2005, he issued what was easily the most distinctive record of his career, Solo Piano, which found him performing 16 themes (for left-hand accompaniment and right-hand melody) and asserting the influence of French impressionists Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel. In 2008, he relesed an album on Mercury titled Soft Power, an album of assured piano-led pop that channeled the production gloss of '70s and '80s pop/rock. Two years later, after piano battles with Andrew W.K. and a stint with the German rap group Puppetmastaz and the setting of a Guinness world record for the longest solo-piano performance in history (27 hours), he recorded Ivory Tower, the soundtrack to a film he cowrote with Céline Sciamma, directed by Puppetmastaz' Adam Traynor. The film included appearances by Gonzales, Peaches, Feist, and Tiga (the latter of whom played Gonzales' brother in the film). Gonzales has also popped up on several albums by Jamie Lidell. ~ Diana PottsPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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