Denis Mayer Jr. grew up in household that was just about devoid of music and musical entertainment of any kind; it was really not a part of their busy daily lives. Therefore, as a young teenager, Denis was quite different from most other young people who lived with earphones on their heads and watched TV many hours a day. Eventually he reached the age where many young people leave home and he did just that. Thus began his journey into a different world; the dawn of a new life.
One evening, way back in 1998, Denis was watching TV at a friend’s house and as he surfed the channels, he happened to come across a channel that caught his attention. As Denis listened to the singer he concluded that he must be an angel; this must be the “Heaven” channel. Until that moment Denis had had no exposure whatsoever to classical music or singing or opera but by the time the program finished he was hooked. The name of that singer was Andrea Bocelli. Denis was totally shocked to realize that this wonderful, gifted human being could not see. He was blind.
From that moment on Denis went on a shopping spree…for CD’s…CD’s of Andrea…CD’s of other famous singers such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras…he could not get enough of this wonderful music. As soon as he bought his first Andrea CD he started to sing along with him and learnt the words of “Time to Say Goodbye”.
The years went by and Denis continued to sing various classical songs every day, gradually stretching his voice to reach those difficult high notes. He continued to buy and listen to operatic music. Over time he managed to teach himself the foreign words so that he could sound “professional”. It took awhile for Denis to learn what those words actually meant in English and French, his native language and of course knowing their meaning and understanding the passion they projected enabled him to improve his singing tremendously.
Although to this day Denis has had no formal training of any kind, he has overcome his shyness and dares to perform in public. He admits he is no Bocelli or Pavarotti but does love to share his voice and emotions with anyone who will listen to, and hopefully enjoy, his performance. Pavarotti, by his facial expressions, taught him to release the emotions he feels when he sings. On stage you can hide nothing; the audience knows when you give it your all and they show their appreciation accordingly.
Eventually, Denis came across “Il Divo”, a group of four men singing popular songs in operatic style. He was deeply influenced by these singers, in particular Carlos, the baritone, so full of self-confidence and charisma and with such a wonderful, powerful voice. Denis still vividly recalls attending their live show in Vancouver. What a privilege! He had never experienced a live concert. He remembers watching every move they made; the way they walked, how they used their hands, how they harmonized, how they projected their emotions to the audience. He was overwhelmed and SO happy and excited by it all. To this day they are still his favourite group.
As a direct result of that experience, he worked up the courage to record his first recording, “O Sole Mio”. This sounded good to Denis so he recorded more and more songs so that he had something with which to promote himself. Fortunately, a good friend was able to book him a show, his very own show, alone on stage in front of 600 people at an Italian banquet to be held at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver. This performance went well for him and led to other engagements at weddings, church services, Christmas celebrations, sporting events, etc.
“Music is for me a spiritual experience. When I sing, I sing to make other people happy. I want them to hear but I also want them to feel the passion of my work. Fortunately, music has no class or racial barriers and even the poorest people can be lifted out of their misery by its magic.” ~ Denis Mayer Jr.