MARC Martel first heard of the legendary British rock band Queen in the ’90s after watching the iconic Wayne’s World scene where Wayne and Garth rock out to Bohemian Rhapsody in the car.
He was born in the ’70s but never knew of the late Freddie Mercury or his signature sound.
This seems a “crazy little thing” considering his voice sounds uncannily like the star, known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.
“My dad was a pastor and my mum was a choir director in a church, so we listened to a lot of gospel music but I was also into pop music like George Michael and Richard Marx,” Martel said.
“Somehow I missed Freddie Mercury for a long time – better late than never, I guess.”
Martel has brought many people to tears with his voice, including Celine Dion and Queen band members Roger Taylor and Brian May.
The Nashville-based performer sings with Queen Extravaganza – the official Queen tribute band created by Taylor and May – as well as new project, The Ultimate Queen Celebration.
You can also hear his vocals in the upcoming biographical film Bohemian Rhapsody, combined with Mercury’s voice and the lead actor’s.
Martel has his own band too, but that has taken a back seat for now.
He discovered his uncanny talent in the mid 2000s, when he was in his 20s and singing original songs in his now-defunct band Down Here.
People at his gigs would come up and say ‘You sound just like Freddie Mercury’.
“It became a joke: first of all after every show I would start counting on two hands how many people would come up and say that to me,” Martel said.
“Then after a while I would say to my band mates at the start of the night: ‘Watch this, guys – I’m going to try and sound as much like myself – not Mercury – as I can’.
“And that would make no difference at all. It’s something that I have accepted and something that is going to be part of my life for probably the rest of my life.”
What: The Ultimate Queen Celebration
Where: Perth Concert Hall
When: August 28