Canadian musician Marc Martel has uploaded a stripped back rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to Youtube that will melt your friggin’ heart.
Martel toured the US with his Christian rock band Downhere for more than a decade, and while they managed a certain degree of recognition in the indie scene, their band never really gained any major traction.
In 2011, around the time the band was thinking about calling it quits, Martel received an email that changed his life.
An industry friend had sent him a link to a contest organized by Roger Taylor to find the vocalist for the official Queen tribute project “The Queen Extravaganza”.
After some initial hesitation, the indie rocker decided to apply with a video of him singing the classic Somebody to Love.
The raw and emotional cover turned out to be a Youtube sensation, shooting up over a million views in just a few days.
Just a week after releasing the video, Martel went from struggling on the road with his band to appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres show.
He went on to win the “Queen Extravaganza” competition and toured with the surviving members of the legendary band from 2012 to 2015 before leaving the rock outfit and forming his own tribute act, “The Ultimate Queen Celebration”.
Martel, who gave his vocals for Queen’s biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, has launched a cover album titled, Thunderbolt & Lightning. To promote his new album he has uploaded a mesmerizing solo rendition of the British band’s most famous song, Bohemian Rhapsody, and boy is it surreal.
The inflections, the range, the colour of his voice… the resemblance to Freddie Mercury’s vocals is absolutely mind-blowing. As Roger Taylor once remarked “That voice. You listen, close your eyes and you think it’s Freddie. It’s really uncanny.”
Last year, Martel gave Noise11 some insight on his participation in the Oscar-nominated biopic:
“They hired me to do some of the singing in the movie and give the audience an immersive experience and not be able to tell where the singing is coming from. It is to make the audience believe they are really watching Freddie Mercury sing.
The way it works in movies, the actor will perform their part based on the music. All of the music was prepared before shooting. It was fun, demanding, it could a little bit tedious at times but it was all very good and all very worth it”.
He explains that what you hear in the final move is an amalgamation of various sources.
The movie will be using a mixture of Freddie’s tracks, and me and Rami. It will all be done in a way you can’t tell.”
You can check out our thoughts on the movie here.