Happy Birthday, Sylvain Leduc!
With love from all your SIDEBURNS fans and friends.
A Chat with Sharon Murray
SB: It is indeed a pleasure chatting with you this morning, Sharon.
SM: The pleasure is all mine, Carolyn!
SB: It has been a very exciting couple of years for all of you. Can you describe some of the highlights?
SM: Every moment along this journey has been an adventure. The most recent highlight was Sylvain’s championship win at the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival last month which qualifies him to compete at the 2019 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. We are very excited by the prospect of returning to Memphis! One of the most important highlights for us is our connection with the fans. We can’t thank them enough for the love and support they’ve shown Sylvain, and we welcome every opportunity to meet the fans at our shows and through the various festivals and events we attend. Our shows, and Elvis events in general, are successful because fans actively support the ETAs who pay tribute to The King and we thank them for choosing to spend their evenings with us. Through Elvis Tribute Artists and the millions of fans across the world, we keep Elvis’ memory and his music alive.
SB: What was it like for you watching Sylvain compete on the Memphis stage last August?
SM: It was a tremendous source of pride. Knowing how hard Sylvain had worked to reach this point and to see him up there on stage in Memphis is still beyond words. It was at that moment that I truly understood the meaning of the word “surreal”.
SB: Going into this year’s NFEF, what advice did you give to Sylvain before the competition?
SM: The best advice I ever received was through a conversation I had with Steve Binder (Director & Producer of “ELVIS”, aka The ’68 Comeback Special). He told me that my job is to instill confidence and let the artist know that I believe in his talent 200%. In retrospect, I came to understand that the best advice can be found in simplicity. This has been easy advice to follow as I have believed in Sylvain since the day I met him. At competitions, we have a ritual. Just before he goes backstage, I whisper “Go up there, sing with your heart and “be” Elvis.” I truly believe that’s all you need to do, nothing more, nothing less. If you study Elvis and respect the man and the image, the authenticity will naturally shine through.
SB: What was the first thing you did when Sylvain was announced as the winner?
SM: I cried…
SB: What is the plan going to this year’s Ultimate competition in Memphis?
SM: For a competition of this magnitude, all contestants must be mentally and physically prepared. Song choices will need to be carefully considered. It is my role and the role of the team to provide a solid support system that will allow Sylvain to remain focused and relaxed so that he can enjoy this part of his journey to the fullest. Having competed last year, the experience we gained will be paramount in how we approach this year’s contest. We are simply thrilled to have the privilege of accompanying Sylvain to the UETAC for a 2nd time.
SB: Between now and August, where will we be able to see Sylvain performing?
SM: Sylvain will be performing at the Chateauguay Regional High School Auditorium in Ormstown, Quebec on Friday, May 24th. At the end of the month, we’re off to New York where Sylvain will be competing at the Lake George Elvis Festival. Upon our return, Sylvain will be performing at the Tweed Royal Canadian Legion on Friday, June 7th and will be featured at the Tweed Music Festival’s Elvis and Friends Gala Night taking place on June 8th at the Tweed Agricultural Building. On June 15th, you’ll find us in Hogansburg, New York at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino where Sylvain will be performing with a live band at the ELVIS EXTRAVAGANZA event.
For a full list of upcoming events, we invite fans to visit our website at www.sylvainleducelvis.com. Fans can also follow us on Instagram @sylvainleducelvis as well as on our Facebook Sylvain Leduc ELVIS Fan Site.
SB: Since today is Sylvain’s birthday, do you have something special you would like to say to him? If you had the power of magic, what gift would you give to Sylvain?
SM: Both Theo & I wish Sylvain the happiest of birthdays. May he be blessed with an abundance of health, happiness and continued success. We hope that today will be as special as he is to us. If I could give him one magical gift, I would give him the honor of being the 1st Canadian to be crowned Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Grand Champion. I can’t think of a better Elvis ambassador to bring the “Ultimate” home to Canada. Any Elvis fan will tell you that there is an Elvis song for every occasion or circumstance. In this context, I’m going with “If I Can Dream”…
SB: Thank you very much, Sharon, for taking time from your busy schedule to chat.
SM: Thank you, Carolyn – it’s always a pleasure speaking with you!