Mario Pelchat

 Mario Pelchat. Singer-songwriter, producer, born at Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC, 1 Feb 1964.

Early years

Pelchat was exposed to music early on through his parents, and sang in his local parish church choir as a boy along with his sister and father. He left his native Northern Québec region of Lac St Jean in 1981 at the age of 17 to pursue a musical career. That same year, he won a talent contest in Montréal, and recorded his first 45 rpm single "Je suis un chanteur" (there was later an album of the same name) for Guy Cloutier, who had produced records for René and Nathalie Simard. In 1983 the album Tu m'as fait mal was released followed by the song "J'ai le blues de toi" in 1986, a recording which brought him into the public eye.

In 1990 on an independent label his album Couleur passion was produced, which soon went platinum, and the artist was taken on by Sony Music, then managing the career of Céline Dion. On his Sony debut album Pelchat recorded "Plus haut que moi" in duo with Dion. Another high point occurred in 1993 with his album Pelchat.

In 1988, Pelchat became the co- host for the French TV show "Septième Ciel" with Martine Chevrier. Pelchat has been associated with the Audiogram, Sony Music, and Musicor labels, but by 1999 was producing his own albums under the label Productions AMP 99.

New Directions

After several more albums, Pelchat turned his talents to acting. He appeared as Picasso in the musical comedy La Vie en Blue (dir. Robert Hossein, 1997) in France and Monaco. In 2000 he portrayed Quasimodo in the Plamondon-Cocciante version of Notre-Dame de Paris replacing the original actor Garou. Pelchat performed this role in Paris, Belgium, Lebanon and Italy, and the production won the ADISQ award for best show in 2000. He appeared as Moses in a French version of The Ten Commandments (Les Dix Commandements) and in the role of Don Carlos in Don Juan by Felix Gray (dir. Gilles Maheu) in Paris and Montréal, which earned a Félix for best show (2004).

Pelchat released the album Noel avec Jireh Gospel Choir in 2004, which led to a tour of Québec with the choir.

In 2005 Pelchat began producing albums for other singers including Cindy Daniel who had played Elvira in Don Juan, and Nadja. Although until then the focus of his own songs had been about love, in 2005 he expanded to more socially conscious themes with "Mon Refuge" and "Des Milliards des personnes", on his album Le Monde ou je vais.

A career highlight was working with the legendary Michel Legrand on the album Mario Pelchat/Michel Legrand released in 2009. One song featured was "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" in duo with celebrated American singer Dionne Warwick who came to Montréal especially for the engagement. Pelchat was invited on Legrand's world tour as part of the celebration of 50 years of Legrand's own career, and which took them to France and the USA. Pelchat appeared in the film Michel Legrand et le Cinema, recorded at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, 2009.

One of Pelchat's ambitions was to become a star and he has succeeded in touching on all aspects of his dream, culminating in the 30th anniversary celebration of his career in 2011.

Awards

Pelchat won a Félix Award at the ADISQ gala for best male performer in 1990, and another for album of the year for Pelchat in 1993. "Je ne t'aime plus" won for best song in 2000, and in 2009 he received a further Félix for best jazz performance for his collaboration with Michel Legrand.