Born into a musical family, Damien learned drums with his father (Daniel Schmitt) and the music profession directly on stage at the age of 4. His mother was a piano teacher and singer in the family orchestra, that’s why he was interested early on in singing and learned to play several instruments including bass and guitar, instruments that quickly became his favorite.
At the age of 16 he formed the group Yossoma for which he composed and wrote his first songs. He released two albums: Le scatstyle des rastyles (1996) and FM Francophone Revolution (1998). The group performed all over France and was a finalist at the Printemps de Bourges Springboard in 2000. At same time, Damien performed in several bands in different genres of music ranging from funk to hip hop, metal, jazz (trio, quartet and big band), jazz fusion and even the batucada.
Beginnings in Paris in 2000
After selling thousands of records with himself-produced records, he moved to Paris. This is where he started playing as a live drummer on tour for the most famous French artists like:
He forged a solid reputation in the jazz fusion and performed with:
Offering also his talents on records, he is featured on many bestseller albums (see Discography) with, for example:
After many years of touring around the world, this highly sought after drummer decides to make the move from Paris to Los Angeles. For Damien, the time spent in the City of Angels was a great source of inspiration as he dedicated more and more time developing his skills as a composer, songwriter and singer.
In 2009, while performing at the Montreal Drum Fest, he discovers the unique flavor and lifestyle that this city has to offer and his smitten by the openness and warmth of Quebecers.
While in Montreal, he records with Alain Caron on his latest release: Septentrion. The album would eventually be nominated and receive the 2011 Felix* Award for Best Jazz Album Of The Year. (* The Felix Award is the Quebec equivalent of a Grammy)
Having spent a fair amount of time in Montreal during 2010, Damien decides to relocate from Los Angeles to Montreal in January 2011.
As a singer, his performance on the French version of "The Voice" on February 25, 2012 was impressive... Three out the four judges turned their chairs! Florent Pagny, Garou and Louis Bertignac…. Damien was in the enviable, yet difficult position of having to select one of the these celebrated artists as his coach and team leader.
Perhaps, because of both the Montreal connection and the nature of his powerful and distinctive voice, Damien chose to join Team Garou as he moved on to the "Battles" phase of the competition.
These days, Damien is focusing his attention and energy on his solo carreer. He is currently in Brittany (Northwest part of France), where he grew up, working on his first solo album. Fans can look forward to some exciting Progressive Jungle Electro Rock coming down the pipeline soon!
As you keep your eyes and ears open for another song or video to be uploaded every other month starting this June, be sure to check out the video for "From The Satellite", the very first track from the Damien Schmitt's upcoming song collection.
Enjoy... Let's us know what you think.