Welcome to the official page for the Canadian national final for the seventh edition of Fête de la Chanson.
Artist: Lhasa de Sela
Venue: Opera de Montreal, Montreal
Lhasa was born in Big Indian, New York, of a Mexican father, language instructor Alejandro “Alex” Sela, and an American mother, photographer and actress Alexandra Karam. According to Lhasa, her hippie parents did not give her a name until the age of five months; her mother was reading a book about Tibet and the word Lhasa “just grabbed her” as the right name for the baby girl. Lhasa’s maternal grandmother was Elena Karam (1909–2001), an actress best known for her leading role in Elia Kazan’s film America America. Her paternal grandmother was Carmen de Obarrio (1906–1982), a Panamanian pianist who studied in Los Angeles with Egon Petri, and with Edgar Varèse in San Francisco.Lhasa had a Lebanese great-grandfather named Basel who sang in six languages. Her mother played harp and her father played flute.Her first decade was spent criss-crossing the United States and Mexico, living and traveling in a converted school bus with her parents and siblings, home-schooled by her mother. Both her parents spoke fluent Spanish, but she was raised speaking primarily English, with Spanish added during a total of eight years’ residence in Mexico. Along with her family she listened to a wide variety of recordings including songs by Chilean musician Victor Jara; as a young child she dreamed of marrying him some day, not knowing he had been killed.
At age 13 when her parents separated, Lhasa, her mother and her sisters settled in San Francisco where Lhasa started singing in a Greek cafe. She included Spanish language lessons in her high school studies. After viewing a documentary about Billie Holiday, Lhasa determined that she, too, would make a career in singing.
In 1991, she traveled to Montreal to visit her sisters who were students at l’École nationale de cirque, the National Circus School of Canada, and she decided to make Montreal her home. Steeped in a Francophone culture for the first time, she sang for five years in bars, collaborating with rock guitarist Yves Desrosiers. In 1992, Denis Wolff, general manager of the independent Canadian record company, Audiogram, saw Lhasa performing, her head shaved, in front of a tiny nightclub audience. He was struck with “her personality, her charisma and her voice” – he soon signed her to the label. With Desrosiers she developed the material that eventually became her first album. Following a 21-month-long battle with breast cancer, Lhasa died, age 37, on the evening of January 1, 2010, at her home in Montreal.
1. El desierto
3. La maree haute
4. Anywhere On this Road
5. La cara a la pared
Voting: To vote in the Canadian national final, give the points to firstname.lastname@example.org as follows: 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 in descending order. 12 points will go to your favorite song. 4 to your least favorite.
National Final Ends: 23:59 CET 6 June 2015
- Ren Robles
- Alex (Greece)
- Alex (USA)
Winner: “Anywhere on this Road”