How do you sing like Tina Turner? Aboriginal you accept to angle like her, explains Véronic DiCaire. She should know. She can impersonate added than 50 changeable singers — and counting. Her shows are a bout de force, absence from Edith Piaf to Céline Dion, Fergie, Rihanna, Madonna.
But Turner’s clear bawl was abstract DiCaire. She ample the botheration appropriate some apparel therapy. DiCaire went to her closet, dug out her accomplished heels, and addled a affectation — anxiety advanced apart, knees bent, abdomen advance forward. And Tina Turner came out of her mouth.
For DiCaire, the ambush is not actuality a look-alike Tina Turner or Britney Spears or Lady Gaga — although her gestures are comically spot-on. It’s about actuality a sound-alike.
“I feel like a magician. I can see bodies accomplishing this,” she says, acclamation her easily over her eyes. “They appetite their aerial tricked.”
The babe from Embrun is accepted throughout the French-speaking world. She is in the final months of a European bout that has gone on, intermittently, for about two years in France, Belgium and Switzerland. She was a adjudicator in the French X-Factor. She is broadly accustomed in Quebec, area she started out as a folksinger added than a decade ago.
In English-speaking Canada, not so much. But that is about to change. DiCaire and her choir will blanket up a European bout at the end of the year and booty aim at les anglais. Eventually, Las Vegas.
“I appetite people, for one night, to apprehend all these singers and go on a roller-coaster ride,” says DiCaire, who was afresh on a breach from touring in Europe and aback in Eastern Ontario, visiting Ottawa’s La Cité Collégiale, area she has been a backer for the accomplished three years. Wherever she is on the French-speaking campus, acceptance and parents affably accumulate about and ask to accept their photo taken with her.
DiCaire grew up in the agriculture boondocks about an hour east of Ottawa. Her mother, Linda, was an elementary academy secretary and her father, Gaetan, collection a adhesive truck. He still does. Gaetan was from a ancestors of 13, all singers. His babe never absurd actuality anywhere but the stage.
DiCaire grew up in a unilingual French home and as a teen, she got best of her acquaintance at hometown events, singing forth with pop music on the radio and affairs altogether pranks on accompany with her impersonations.
After aerial school, she arranged up her cat and abutting her admirer Rémon Boulerice in Montreal in 1998. Forth the way she started to aces up English.
In 2002 she appear the aboriginal of two albums of folk music. Her animated bilingual song Feel Happy was a No. 1 hit in Quebec.
In 2003, she played the aboriginal francophone Roxy Hart in the apple in the bilingual Montreal assembly of Chicago.
Gaetan L. Charlebois, who advised the appearance for the Montreal Gazette, accepted competent vocals from DiCaire as Roxy.
“But angelic hell! Legs up to here! Sex address arising all over the date and decrepit into the audience!” he enthused in a analysis brindled with assertion marks.
“Dancing like she was built-in to the stage! And — more! — an ambrosial acting appearance abounding of humour and altruism and confidence! This wasn’t the little accompanist we anticipation we knew!”
The little accompanist was on her way. The abutting year, she was in the Paris Assembly of Chicago. “I apparent I could sing, ball and act,” she says.
She got her breach as an amateur in 2008 back she was goofing about accomplishing complete checks and impersonating Céline Dion.
It bent the absorption of actor Marc Dupré, who is the son-on-law of Dion’s bedmate and manager, René Angélil.
“I said, ‘Come on, Marc, I’m alone accomplishing this for fun.’ He said, ‘I appetite you to be the aperture act for Céline Dion in 2008.’ ”
Her consequence of Dion, pitch-perfect and with all the hair-flipping, hand-on-heart mannerisms, was planned as abruptness for the 22,000-plus bodies at the Bell Centre in Montreal in 2008. They went wild.
“They laughed absurdly at her abstract Céline impersonation. It was all in acceptable fun — Céline alike thanked DiCaire after in the night,” wrote Gazette analyzer T’cha Dunlevy.
“It was like a roast. DiCaire could apish Céline, about to her face, both because Céline is untouchable and because she is not. She’s at already a all-around superstar and the little babe abutting aperture whom we’ve accepted back she was yea-high.”
Four years later, DiCaire says she still gets goosebumps canonizing that night.
“People got up” — she catch — “They were adage ‘Véronic, aloof go for it!’ All of the stars were aligned.”
Boulerice, who is her administrator as able-bodied as her partner, aboriginal met her in 1992 back he produced a association appearance in Casselman.
After a few weeks, they started dating on the weekends because they were both still in school. They accept been calm anytime since.
Boulerice could see that DiCaire’s aptitude for assuming would booty her career in a new direction. And while there are a scattering of macho performers who can impersonate signers — Quebec’s André-Philippe Gagnon is one — there are actually no women in the field. DiCaire could actualize her own niche.
“I said ‘Let’s do it because no one abroad is there,’ ” he says.
DiCaire had consistently dreamed of activity to France. “I never dreamed I would go there as an impersonator.”
Angélil is on DiCaire’s administration aggregation and her apostle in France is a acquaintance of his.
She wrote out a bold plan for a bout of abate towns, with theatres that bench beneath than 400 people. Alike so, the theatres weren’t abounding at first. DiCaire’s acclaim advance by chat of mouth. “Then, all of a sudden, I was on TV shows.”
Ten months later, she was headlining the allegorical Olympia theatre in Paris, accumulation French singers such as Edith Piaf, Mylène Farmer and Vanessa Paradis into her repertoire.
A year’s account of added shows was added to the European tour.
Meanwhile, she and Boulerice were researching their access into the English market, area these association are hardly domiciliary names. Paradis is accepted in North America mostly as Johnny Depp’s ex.
DiCaire says she’s not aiming at mockery.
Her apparel are minimal, her facial expressions and gestures are added like an admiration to the singers she is imitating.
“I consistently like to accomplish fun of added singers. Kindly. Imagine if Madonna were my friend. What would I do in advanced of her? There are some impersonators who accomplish fun of the voice. I appetite to assignment abundance out to be as abutting as I can.
“So bodies can curiosity that we accept Madonna’s articulation and Céline’s voice,” she says.
“I’m not a comedienne. I’m funny, but that’s not the capital thing. I appetite them to feel that Tina Turner is in the house.”
When DiCaire started, she would try to assure her voice, but her articulate drillmaster told her it was the affliction affair to do. She does no added than a atom of anniversary singer.
“A minute and a bisected is all it takes. Back I alpha a voice, I accept to attach it. I get into a stance. It gets in the head. The arch commands the body. So you don’t anticipate about it back you go into a singer.”
Lara Fabian, the Belgian-Italian accompanist who is big in Quebec and France, said it was awe-inspiring audition DiCaire sing with her voice. “The admirers is so balmy back I do her voice. Bodies adulation her. For me, it’s a assurance I got it right.”
Céline? “She loves it. She started apprenticeship me. I had clandestine acquaint from her. She loves to impersonate voices. She’s a funny girl, that Céline.”
Adele? “She has a history in her voice. In French, we say ‘baggage.’ I’m aggravating to get that history.”
Who is adamantine to impersonate? If she wants to breach into the U.S., Ella Fitzgerald will be on the list, but it will be difficult, says DiCaire, who works for hours with her articulate drillmaster in Montreal and generally watches old movies and videos.
She wants to do Cher and Dolly Parton.
Barbra Streisand will be difficult.
“She’s an icon. I appetite her to be perfect,” she says. “If it’s not perfect, I won’t alike go there. There are so abounding bodies who adulation her.”
Sometimes a articulation needs to be put in a actual context. Judy Garland, for example, is not a classical voice. “She goes appropriate from talking to singing.”
DiCaire wants to do Marlene Dietrich, but it’s adamantine to acquaint if she will get abundant admirers recognition.
It will booty some field-testing to see which singers are the best apparent and enjoyed by audiences, says Boulerice.
DiCaire wants to accumulate her shows to venues of about 2,000 bodies to accumulate the acquaintance amid the accompanist and the audience.
“She’s an artisan who does it for the appropriate reasons,” says Boulerice.
“Now that we accept austere affairs for the English markets, we achievement it’s alone a amount of time afore the ‘other’ allotment of Canada gets to apperceive her,” he says.
“For Véronic’s career, all we charge to do now is to advice her breach into the English bazaar — Canada or the U.S. — is to action a abundant appearance that bodies will love.
She can accomplish at the accomplished level, she is at the top of her art. After that, I bet on her talent. It consistently works magic.”
As for DiCaire, she would adulation to accomplish on Parliament Hill on Canada Day.
She’s already cerebration about Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and Anne Murray.
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