A Quebec Christmas for Vincent Niclo

Since his path crossed that of Celine Dion, almost 10 years ago, Vincent Niclo has pursued a career filled with success in France. In a style mixing pop and opera, he manages to reinvent himself on each of his records. He was recently in Quebec to prepare a Christmas album which should be released by the end of the year, with some surprises.

Vincent, how did you meet Celine Dion?

In 2012, it was Celine Dion’s return to France with the album Without Waiting, and I was invited to a TV show dedicated to her. I had just released a record with the Red Army Choir. I sang in front of her All By Myself in a lyrico-pop version; you must have been absolutely crazy! But it challenged her and she really liked it. She then asked me to do the first part of the shows on her tour of France and Belgium the following year.

How did you experience this?

It was a lot for me. Céline gave me lots of compliments in front of everyone, and for years people talked to me about this performance. As I reached the famous high note of the song, I had a little tear, because I was realizing what was happening. People have experienced this in front of their TV and it has made an impression. Céline has such an impact on the French public that no one looked at me the same way after that.

Do you know a little about Quebec?

I came several times for TV shows. I also did a duet with Natasha St-Pier and another with Marie-Élaine Thibert. I also participated in a show with Celine Dion, during which we sang together. She was once again incredibly generous! Thanks to that, my French album became number one on the iTunes Canada charts the next day. However, I had plenty of commitments in France at the same time, and I had to go back.

This time is the right one since you are preparing a Christmas album for Quebec. Why this choice?

I’ve never done it, and I liked the idea a lot. I had wanted to do this for a long time, and when I was offered to do it here, the timing was perfect. I immediately freed up time in my schedule to come here and record the songs.

Are you going to offer original songs?

They are just classics, but in a pop-opera version. There will be songs in French, English and Spanish, with original duets. It was an opportunity for me to go to a very different repertoire, but which has always made me dream, in the Sinatra style with a big band.

How did you choose the artists with whom you will do the duets?

I was offered names because I don’t know all the Quebec artists. There is, for example, Mario Pelchat, whom I knew, because he also worked with Michel Legrand. He received me in his winery; he is adorable and very generous. On the other hand, I did not know Martine St-Clair nor Krystel Mongeau, who has just won Star Académie. She has an incredible voice, and I think it’s great to have someone start their career on the record. We’re also going to have a gospel choir and a children’s choir, because I love choirs.

Is it hard to get into the Christmas mood in the middle of July?

We don’t really have to get in the holiday mood. Nothing was complicated for this project, not even the choice of songs. In fact, you just have to think about what you’re saying — it’s like an actor’s role — and let the emotion rise. The texts of Christmas songs may seem light, but some are more emotionally charged than others.

Will the record also be released in France?

There would be this possibility, but I have another album which will be released there in April 2023. We are discussing it to see if it could work.

  • Vincent’s Christmas album is expected by the end of the year. You can follow his projects on vincentniclo.com.

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