Calgary-based mega talent Shaye Zadravec joins famed guitarist Oscar Lopez for a show at the Elks Lodge Feb. 22nd.
Presented by the Central Music Festival Society, the music kicks off at 8 p.m. sharp.
For ticket information, check out www.centralmusicfest.com.
At just 25, Zadravec is already garnering plenty of attention for her exquisite vocal stylings – just last summer, she released a black and white video of her studio performance of a tune called Lilac Wine which was originally penned back in the 1950s by James Shelton.
Thousands have since taken note of her stellar interpretation, and a fanbase continues to grow.
She also released an EP called Norway in September of last year, and will heading over to Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands for a slate of gigs as well.
“It’s kind of always been there, just from listening to music,” she explains of her passion.
“Our dad has a very eclectic taste in music and he was also continually playing music day and night. So it was always kind of around, and I remember mimicking what I heard.
“I think those were the early stages of me finding melodies and harmonies,” she explained. “I was figuring out what I was listening to and what was making those sounds, and just kind of experimenting.
“My earliest vocal memories are listening to Patsy Cline. For me, that time was a big part of my life – I still will occasionally cover her songs.
“That’s the vocal stylings that I’m really drawn to. Along with her, I also love Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. And my ultimate favourite singer of all time is Harry Nilsson. So I do sing lots of Patsy Cline style songs, but as I’m getting a little bit older and kind of figuring out how I like to sing, his vocals are are what I’m really drawn to, and a style that I’m trying to put across – that really smooth quality.”
The attention to honing her skills has paid off richly – Zadravec really has an extraordinary voice that overall sounds beyond her years.
Not that it’s all been smooth sailing.
“Somewhere along the line I developed a fear of singing in front of people,” she said. “It was very strange, but I decided that I wanted to snap out of that when I got to high school.” The urge to perform certainly did resurface, so she signed on for musical theatre productions which would further push her to conquer her anxieties.
But music still didn’t become front and centre until she was about 18.
“I started going to open mics in Calgary,” she explained.
She kept returning to the venue, tackling that old, stubborn fear of singing in public and all the while flourishing beautifully as an artist.
“I’ve also had a lot of support since I’ve started singing and playing,” she said. “Being around such welcoming musicians helped me develop my skills from there.”
As mentioned, Zadravec’s EP Norway was released last Fall with contributions and support from notables including Hall of Fame songwriter Chip Taylor, Norwegian producer/musician Goran Grini, and the who’s who of her local scene, according to her bio.
It was recorded partly in Calgary and partly in Skien, Norway. And as pointed out, the success of her enchanting rendition of Lilac Wine and Dear Elvis (another video performance for a song from the EP) have opened doors for her onto both the national and international stage.
Over the past while, she has also been on the road in support of the recording, sharing stages with Dan Mangan, William Prince, Lopez and more.
In the meantime, Zadravec said there just is nothing as magical as being onstage.
“You are totally in the moment. You’ve rehearsed and you’ve learned all of your songs. You’re nervous, but you are excited to be onstage,” she said.
“It’s super thrilling, and there is an energy there that you can’t really replicate in a recording. So for me, the ‘live and in the the moment’ aspect is what I’m totally drawn to. It just makes you feel good.”