Sophie Grenier has often expressed her love of French to Lavoix. In an interview two days after her triumph in the final, the 17-year-old assures that there was nothing artificial in her outpourings. And for good reason ; the language of Molière is the one she has always spoken. “When they hear my accent, people think I’m an English speaker, but my first language is really French!” »
That’s why the 17-year-old Franco-Ontarian hesitated before singing Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love on Sunday night, live in front of 1,321,000 viewers. She did not want to confuse the audience, who had adopted her since her cover of L’oiseau by René Simard at blind auditions. When her coach Mario Pelchat and the Productions Déferlantes team suggested the idea that she include portions of the French original by Jean-Jacques Goldman, the future winner breathed a sigh of relief.
“At first, I was really fearful,” she says. I was afraid to do a song in English, especially since I had always sung in French and was always like, “I love French”. I was afraid that by doing a song in English, people would [think], “OK, that was just fake”. But by mixing the two, I was confident. »
A big fan of international artists Billie Eilish, Aurora and Sleeping At Night, Sophie Grenier also grew up listening to Céleste Lévis, Marie-Mai, Yseult, Louane, Pomme and Angèle. For her, The voice represented an incredible opportunity to push the note in French.
“It is certain that by living in Ottawa, Ontario, the entourage is rather English-speaking. So when you give shows, it’s mostly in English. To be able to share songs in French that I listen to, I liked that. Especially when it is a language that we are trying to protect. »
By winning a $50,000 scholarship and, above all, a record contract with Musicor, Sophie Grenier is getting closer to a dream she has cherished for several years: pursuing a career in music. The spark occurred during dinner at the karaoke restaurant, when she was 12, after singing – “for fun” – A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.
“Then the karaoke guy went up to my mom and said, ‘Is your daughter taking singing lessons? Because she should. I hear a lot of potential.” »
After four years of lessons and exercises to develop her instrument, Sophie believes more and more that she will reach her goal, despite some setbacks. In particular, she questioned herself after having tried to integrate, in vain, the 2022 season of Star Académie.
Despite her recent victory, Sophie Grenier is still hesitating between two bachelor’s programs at the university, which she will join in September: business (her “plan B”) and music (her “plan A”).
Regardless of the choice she makes, Mario Pelchat welcomes her desire to continue her university career. “I didn’t do a lot of studies,” recalls the singer. My sister passed away when I was 15, just before the holidays. This struck me. We sang together. After the Christmas holidays, I tried to resume, but I couldn’t. I let go, and someone came to get me to play the piano bar. After a year, I won a competition, and that was it. But I was lucky. »
“My lack of studies, I felt it in certain slumps,” he continues. Because my father had a construction company, I went to work in construction. I knew the environment. Again, I was lucky. That’s why I always encourage young people to find a solid base. »
Unlike some former winners or participants of the TVA singing contest, Sophie Grenier does not want to wait long before recording her first album. She wants to take advantage of the “momentum” to begin work this spring, for what she hopes will be an early launch.
And unlike the EP she released last January, titled Escape and made up of four songs in English, her disc will include titles only in French, she promises.
In the short term, Sophie Grenier will sometimes join her coach Mario Pelchat on stage during the summer, during the shows he will give at Domaine Pelchat Lemaître-Auger, the vineyard he owns with his wife in Saint-Joseph- du-Lac, in the Laurentians. Mario Pelchat preferring to reserve the surprise for ticket holders, we do not know the exact dates when the singer will go on stage. But one thing is certain, his parents will be present, as they have been for the past two months.
“We accompany her because we know she’s good,” says her mother, Caroline Blanchard. She has a special voice. To live this adventure with her is fantastic! »