Corona Serenades: Q&A with Erica Lee Martin, signer songwriter (Canada)


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Meet Erica Lee Martin, singer and songwriter (Canada), singer for Corona Serenades

Erica Lee Martin is a singer, songwriter, actor and producer from Montreal. She attended the Université de Montréal where she received a master’s degree in music. She then moved to London, where she earned a master’s in classical acting from London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Currently living in London, Erica writes and produces music, videos, plays and online content. Among her albums and singles are “Joe,” “Out of the Playground,” “Queen of the World” and “I Push On.”

How has the crisis affected you?

I work for a music management agency so obviously we aren’t working right now. I’ve been placed on furlough for the time being but everything’s very up in the air. Beyond that, holiday plans being cancelled is a shame, and being unable to see friends is difficult. But for me, these things can always wait. We need to help and protect others right now.

What are your five favourite operas?

Favourite composers: Mahler, Verdi, Poulenc, Debussy and Beethoven. Favourite operas are Wozzeck by Berg, because it’s so dark and unexpected and raw; La Traviata and Eugene Onegin because they’re so beautifully written and heartbreaking; Gianni Schicchi because it’s so hilarious to watch and great fun to perform; and Dialogues des Carmelites, which is very tough to perform, emotionally speaking, but tells an important story, and the music is equally devastating. My favourite singers are Maria Callas, Angela Gheorghiu, Janet Baker, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Roderick Williams. I’m not a huge fan of musicals, but I love The Sound of Music. The music is perfect. Among jazz interpreters, I love “Under My Skin” as performed by Frank Sinatra. “Peel me a Grape” sung by Blossom Dearie. Anything Sarah Vaughan sings but notably “What is this Thing Called Love.”

What movies, television shows and books do you recommend?

My favourite book right now is Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. It’s perfect sci-fi but besides that it’s a great story. Music: I’ve been listening a lot to Bat for Lashes and a new British band called PINS. TV series, I love rewatching Parks and Recreation – such a feel-good and hilarious show. Also, if you haven’t seen it, watch The Mandalorian.

Can you talk a bit about your own music?

I sang and studied opera for 10 years before moving to London to get a masters in acting. Since being here I’ve developed my songwriting skills, which I abandoned for opera when I was young. Right now, I’m working on composing and singing my own music which you can listen to online. I had a whole new album planned but since no music videos can be filmed right now, I’m focusing on writing new pieces during lockdown. Writing is very therapeutic.

Why did you join Corona Serenades?

I’m very pleased to join this endeavour to help bring joy to people when they need it. I also miss performing and getting to connect with an audience. This is a way to bring audience and performer together in an intimate setting you’d not normally get to have.




This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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