When Valleyfield, Que., resident Sylvain Leduc pays tribute to the king of rock n’ roll, details matter.
“If I’m dressed, hair placed, the right jewelry, and I’m on stage. I feel it. I can feel the presence of Elvis with me,” he said.
The tribute artist grew up listening to classics such as ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ with his father and uncle. When Elvis Presley died, Leduc started to personify the singer in school performances.
“I think he captured a lot of hearts and really captured mine,” he told Global News.
The Elvis look-alike calls his home west of Montreal a mini-Graceland. Pictures of the king are hung alongside photos of Leduc’s career.
He began entering professional competitions in 2015, to keep Elvis’ legacy and music alive.
“I started with Lake George as my first festival, which I took, I won there and just kept going,” said Leduc.
Performing is now his full-time job and he often does seven or eight shows a week for nostalgic fans.
“It’s about bringing joy, bringing that Elvis music to them,” he said. “It’s really fun.”
Leduc’s manager Sharon Murray says Leduc is as good as it gets, apart from Elvis himself.
“If Elvis didn’t do it, Sylvain will not do it. So you’re seeing the real deal, as good as it gets,” said Murray.
There is a revival of interest in the King. Director Baz Luhrmann’s biopic about the rock legend is currently topping box office charts.
Leduc has not seen the film yet but plans to with his son.
“It’s going to hype up everybody’s career, I believe, and it’s going to bring in a lot of young, young people, too,” said Leduc.
The Quebec tribute artist took home first place at the Penticton Elvis Festival last Sunday in British Columbia. It was a qualifying competition for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Graceland in Memphis this August.
He’s placed in the top ten before but hopes this time he will bring home the US$20,000 prize, along with a performance contract with Elvis Presley Enterprises.
“I’d be the first in Canada to bring it home. So I would like that,” Leduc said.
Until then, he will continue to shake, rattle and roll at upcoming performances in preparation for the biggest Elvis contest in the world.
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