We Love 'The Tenors'. Here's Why You Will Too
RANDEE ST NICHOLAS/ UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA
Hear that? It's the sound of thousands of female fans screaming. Why? The Tenors (sometimes known as The Canadian Tenors) have released a new album and are heading on a North American tour. If you haven't heard of these iconic Canucks, trust me, you will. For now, check this out:
Lead With Your Heart (on which they mix pop, opera and world music expertly and addictively) was released on October 30. This is the third album for this quintessential quartet, now made up of Remigio Pereira, Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters, and Clifton Murray, after seeing a few member changes over the years. These guys' impressive careers have seen them perform with Celine Dion on Oprah and even at a private tea for The Queen. Lead With Your Heart, which they call a labour of love, showcases their breathtaking voices (of course), which they’ve all honed for many years.
It goes without saying that The Tenors are hardworking, dedicated musicians. But what you might not know is they’re full-on philanthropists, too. They’ve been working with Mark and Craig Kielburger on an anthem for We Day, called Free The Children, fitting for the organization of the same name.
If that doesn't impress you, this next one might: The Tenors are, in fact, even nicer than they appear on paper. Case(s) in point:
When they enter the interview room, they apologize profusely for being late (I’d only waited 10 minutes.) Soon, the space fills with infectious laughter as they show me a video of them doing the Gangnam Style dance with Korean pop sensation, Psy, earlier that day. Later on in the interview when I run into tech issues (my recorder breaks) then can’t figure out where to find the voice memos app on my iPhone (I’m new, okay?!) they take the whole thing in stride, step up to help me – and manage to do so without laughing.
Here are some of my fave questions from the interview with these great guys:
iVillage Canada: You wrote or at least shared writing credits for four songs on your new album. Why was writing so important to each of you?
The Tenors: We’d written other things for this project but it never ended up on an album yet. We’re musicians – we play instruments on stage – it’s just another extension of ourselves. You can’t get more honest than having the words and melodies come from The Tenors themselves. And also the collaborations; we’ve worked with some incredible writers. – Walters
There are four of you and more collaborators behind the scenes. How do you agree on individual lyrics and songs?
Rock…paper…scissors! Didn’t we actually do that once? Every one of us are perfectionists in the group. Which is a good thing and a hard thing to deal with sometimes. Ninety-three per cent of the time we agree instantly because we have similar tastes. The seven per cent of the time that we don’t agree, we work and talk it through. We do a checklist of why it would be better one way over the other. It’s art – it could literally go any way. Sometimes we just throw it in the air and say ‘Let’s try it this way.’ We all collaborate to make that song as best as it can be.- Micallef
You were the first-ever performers at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. How did you get that gig?
We have some great friends in Winnipeg – the Asper family is very involved with fundraising for the Human Rights Museum and also the mayor of Winnipeg is a friend of ours. When we were going to be doing our cross-country tour, we’re looking for different interesting things we can do, interesting places we can shoot a video to put on YouTube for our fans and so on. In Halifax, we did it on the wharf, in Montreal we did Schwartz’s Deli. For Winnipeg, there was this idea that we could do a walk-through of the Human Rights Museum. It’s still got a year of construction to go. That place is unbelievable – it’s so expansive it’s literally changed the skyline of the city. It’s one of the most beautiful spaces we’ve been in, and to actually be able to sing there, to be the first musicians to perform in there.-Walters
I think the message of the Human Rights Museum is parallel to what we stand for which is being inclusive and leading from the heart like we say on the album. Inspiring people and bringing people together is so important today; focusing on the things that make us similar rather than things that make us different. - Murray
How has music spread the word and the good things you guys are doing?
Music is an international language and you don’t need to understand any language to really appreciate it. When we were meeting orphans for the first time, it was through music that we were able to create some smiles and get everybody involved. Children are the future, and they’re today. Part of our goal is to be able to give back to humanity and to use our voices for the betterment of it. Not only to entertain, but to do both. It’s really part of who we are; giving back and leaving some kind of an imprint with our music in the world for the betterment of humanity.-Pereira
The sweetest, right? Now, check out their music. I dare you not to fall in love.
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