Orléans vocalist launches debut album

Laura Cummings
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Call it fate or fortune, but Orléans native and up-and-coming vocalist Chantal Hackett laughs when explaining she got her start in singing after flunking a talent show piano audition a decade ago.

Orléans vocalist launches debut album

“They said, ‘Can you do anything else?’ So I tried singing, and I decided I really, really liked it,” recounts the 23-year-old, who’s set to release her debut album, Decision, this evening at Mercury Lounge.

After launching into vocal training, the bilingual songstress made her way around the Ottawa performance circuit, grasping any chance to gain experience.

Since then, Hackett has gone international, performing alongside fellow De La Salle high school students at Carnegie Hall and the United Nations, as well as backup vocals for Canadian singer-songwriter Roch Voisine and breaking the top-10 on popular Quebec television show Star Academie.

After appearing on a local television station, however, Hackett was approached by songwriter Robin Moir to work on an album, with the end result of Decision six years later. “As soon as I met Robin, she gave me the opportunity to produce a CD with original songs,” Hackett says. “It did take me some time to decide what style I wanted because I was so young.”

Taking four years off to pursue communications studies at the University of Ottawa, music took a backseat to academics, she continues, eventually returning to the album project. “That’s why the album is called Decision, because it was a big decision to go ahead with the CD … when I graduated, I really knew who I was; I had to hit a certain age to know (that),” describes Hackett.

Hackett, who names singers like Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin as favourites, says everything from love to friendship to personal hardships have coloured her music. The album release for ‘Decision’ will be held at 7 p.m. at Mercury Lounge. For more information, please visit www.chantalhackett.com

Organizations: Mercury Lounge, Carnegie Hall, United Nations University of Ottawa

Geographic location: Ottawa, Quebec

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