‘Voice’ Popera Star Chris Mann Talks Debut Album, Second Chances…and Purrfect’s Catty Little Secret
Chris had already enjoyed an impressive pre-"Voice" career--collaborating and performing with artists like Babyface, India.Arie, Idina Menzel, Katharine McPhee, and David Foster; writing music for various movies and television shows; and even appearing as a Warbler on "Glee." But he still wasn't a household name, for some reason, until "The Voice" came along. (Not even auditioning for "American Idol"--which he did while he was still in college--offered him that elusive big break.) However, as a new signing to Ron Fair's Faircraft/Universal Republic label, the popera singer--who amusingly cites both Luciano Pavarotti and Robbie Williams as influences--now seems truly ready for prime time.
While Season 1's "Voice" winner, Javier Colon, failed to climb the charts, and it remains to be seen if Season 2 champion Jermaine Paul will fare any better, I do believe that Chris may be one "Voice" alum who can become a million-seller and establish "The Voice" as a legitimate star-maker. After all, just look at the robust record sales for opera-belting reality veterans like "Got Talent's" Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho, or crossover opera stars like Andrea Bocelli and Il Divo. I can easily imagine Chris following in those artists' wingtipped footsteps, especially with Faircraft's help.
I recently caught up with Chris at Ron Fair's posh home studio in L.A., where he talked about the interesting cover songs that will be featured on his album (including a remake of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" with new lyrics that Paul Anka penned just for him); his musical collaborators (including powerpop maestro Bleu); his long-ago "Idol" audition; his place in the current pop market; the possibillity of working with Christina Aguilera in the future; and why, despite his talent, it took so long for him to finally make it.
And, if you listen closely around the 5:45 mark, you'll hear him spill some catty dirt about Cee Lo Green's beloved "Voice" mascot, Purrfect. However, if you're the type who gets easily crushed by such revelations as the non-existence of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, you may want to skip that part...