How did you get started?
My singing career started in Montreal when I auditioned for an international music band. I was subsequently offered bookings in Casablanca and since then I have toured abroad continuously.
For someone who’s never heard you before, what can they expect?
I will be performing as half of a duo at Dunes Bar at Grand Hyatt Doha, alongside multi-talented pianist and violinist Marius Baetica. Our repertoire is a mix of jazz and lounge music. For instance we play Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra’s songs as well as laidback arrangements of well-known Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Dido hits. I also keep all of the special requests guests give me whilst on stage, and in my spare time I go through them and learn the songs I don’t already know.
You sing in many languages: why?
I sing in many languages to reach out to and include my audience who come from all over the world.
Is it hard switching languages? Does it change your sound?
I sing in French, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Arabic. I believe it gives an international sound to the show. I find it quite easy switching languages because I know the majority of songs by heart. I also keep a lyric book close by which I look at occasionally to help me remember the words to the hundreds of songs we perform.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by many people, books, songs and even by nature, dependent upon the situation I’m in. My goals and aspirations have changed through time. At the moment I’m being inspired by the people who have found what they were truly looking for, and the colorful culture of India where I was performing before coming to Qatar.
You travel a lot to perform - what’s that like? Is it hard? How do you cope?
My singing contracts are usually between two to six months long. I feel it’s important to create a circle of friends wherever I am performing to feel surrounded. I also keep in touch with my loved ones far away via email and Skype. I love to travel and to discover the different cultures around our extraordinary planet. On the rare occasions I feel a little lonely I remind myself of how lucky I am to travel the world as much as I do and I soon feel happy again.
Have you been to Qatar before?
This is my first visit to Qatar and I’m looking forward to new and exciting experiences.
Does your show change depending on where in the world you are?
Marius and I regularly add new songs to our show, but it mostly stays the same because we are hired to perform songs from our extensive jazzy lounge repertoire.
You’ve done so much - acting, modeling, singing, composing - what’s your favorite?
I concentrate on my singing because I earn my living singing and this enables me to travel around the world.
You’re Quebecoise—French Canadian. Does that give your sound anything unique?
As a ‘’Quebecoise’’ I’m blessed to speak and understand two languages, French and English. I can sing in these two languages without much of an accent.
What’s on your iPod and what do you listen to?
I mainly use my iPod when I go to the gym to listen to new songs I need to learn for my show. I have an eclectic musical library in my computer that I listen to day-to-day for pleasure.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
Is The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) from the Star Wars movie soundtrack a guilty pleasure track? I listen to it almost every time I run with my iPod!
Monia Lamarche and Marius Baetica perform Tues- Sat Dunes Bar at Grand Hyatt Doha. They are also the stars of Swing Through The Afternoon every Friday post brunch from 4pm in Dunes Bar. For more information call 44481280.