Favorite non-operatic artists #1

Hello, everybody! This time I’ve decided to leave the operatic path of my blog for a while cause I’d like to speak about the singers of other genres who are currently performing on stage and whom I love and respect a lot. My post is divided into two parts: the first one is about French musicians and in the second part I’m gonna tell you about English-speaking bands. 

Garou is a Canadian singer who is mostly famous for the role of Quasimodo in a French musical «Notre Dame de Paris» that I watched for the first time when I was about 9 years old. I was so impressed that I immediately fell in love with it and with all French-related things like language, musicians, history etc. This musical has helped all the performers involved in that project to build a successful career. Garou has a captivating gruffish voice and huge charisma! In «Notre Dame de Paris» he looked very believable as an unlucky hunchbank that in a moment I got hooked:). Since that time I’ve been following his career. 

Garou has released nine solo albums. He sings mostly in French but has the English recording as well. Listening to his music, you come across different styles: pop ballade, rock, blues. Such a cocktail characterizes him as a man and as a performer: he can be romantic and adventurous or loving and desperate. You always feel the truth and sincere emotions in Garou’s singing and that’s what I love about him!
My favorite CDs are «Seul» (the 1st album) and «Piece of my soul» (the English album). In some sense «Seul» can be called Garou’s legendary recording cause for many fans his best songs are there, for example, «Gitan» or «Je n'attendais que vous». And I can’t argue with that!:). «Seul» is a sort of a picture of Garou which serves as a basis for his next albums. «Piece of my soul» was a surprise for me cause I hadn’t expected a lot from it (I’d thought that with English lyrics it would lose «French charm») but I was so wrong! I adore all tracks! There are such great songs that I can listen to them all the time and never get tired! And English texts are more understandable for me, so for English speakers it’s another benefit of this recording. «Seul» and «Piece of my soul» are good choice to start with if you wanna get to know this Canadian man.

 
Besides Garou, «Notre Dame de Paris» introduced me one more artist who has a special place in my heart as well. It’s a lovely Fleur-de-Lys in the musical or Julie Zenatti in real life! She was the youngest singer in the cast and had the least amount of musical numbers in «Notre Dame». Despite that fact, I liked her voice, its volume and colour. Suddenly I felt that Julie had something special to tell her listeners and I had to find it out. So I began listening to her CDs and realized that I was right. Besides powerful and beautiful sound, Zenatti pays enough attention to lyrics. In an interview she says that she loves words and sometimes one word can become an inspiration for composing a whole song. 
Julie Zenatti has recorded six studio albums. And what I like about her is that in every CD she shows us one of her artistic sides with different music styles (r’n’b, rock, symphopop) and at the same time she stays true to yourself and you can definitely hear it in each recording. I love this variety and that Julie always searches for a new sound that is relevant to her current feeling of life. That’s why it’s hard for me to advise you a perfect CD to start with but…as an opera lover I would recommend «Plus de Diva». This album is an interesting fusion of pop and symphony, so-called symphopop. In some tracks you can recognize famous classical tunes. Julie was inspired by an image of Maria Callas. The title of the album - «Plus de Diva» means «No more Diva», it’s a reference to Maria Callas in a song «Appelez-moi Maria». But no matter what CD you’ll choose, find the translation of the lyrics to enjoy a perfect union of music and words.

   
To be continued…

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