Music has found its new Vision.
"How can such a big voice come out of such a small man?" Still amazed and carried away by the power and rarity of what she just heard, the new 'groupie'
immediately moves heaven and earth to share her discovery with whoever will listen, going easily through numerous safety gates. The girl is no regular audience, she's herself an amazing singer working as a back vocalist for another stunning performer: Mariah Carey. But still her reaction should be no surprise to Denis. Mariah Carey or Jane Doe, the response is always unanimous : they’re strikingly dazzled from first hearing his voice.
Indeed, like those snake charmers, Denis’s voice has the soothing effect of a dolphin therapy mixed with an exuberant charisma that has already led our little Montreal guy to the highest spots, going from Madison Square Garden for a music festival to Athens in the frame of the Special Olympics 2004. Cause yes, Denis is blind. But Blind only to better see, to open and use his 'real eyes', and to share his Vision with a world who certainly could benefit from his rich and broader perspective on Life, from what may just be the greatest Secret, in fact, that gives everyone the ultimate freedom and power to be, have and do whatever they truly desire!
Denis doesn't believe in Fatality and never considered himself as a victim, and neither should you: "I believe, no I assert, that we are all both actors and creators of our own realities. Life can seem hard but it is only for you to recover the amazing power you hold in the very palm of your hands and of which you probably have no idea. All that happens is nothing but blessings in disguise, that which we have ourselves magnetized, consciously or not." No question: Denis is definitely a committed performer, dedicating his artistry to make a difference in people's lives.
He is actually working on his debut masterpiece, a very unique conceptual multimedia and theatrical musical review and its companion album, called “Annyo”, that should have some kind of earthquake effect on the chilly music industry and much beyond. Cause although mostly made up of classics, you can be sure that “Annyo” will not feature any classics, but only the most powerful, uplifting and inspiring ones to date that best carry the depth, strength and clarity of the messages and concepts that want to be imparted through this grandiose production. Besides, the whole thing will be spiced by a few of Denis’s own creations that should certainly also shake some people’s comfort. Cause Denis is no new-agy kind of crap. His lyrics are smashing, his sound, edgy: "I'm not afraid of being commercial. It's the best way to reach people. I want them to dance on my songs, sing on my songs, make love on my songs… Then somehow they will fully grasp my message and start to make changes in their lives."
With his mix of world beats, soul-flavored sounds inspired by his idol Stevie Wonder and more surprising and aggressive r&b joints Beyonce and Cie would better off be inspired by, Denis Harting is ready to spread his words and wings on the waves, and sweep the world. Will you be ready to listen?
EXTENDED ARTISTIC BIOGRAPHY
Denis Harting’s journey begins on a hot June day, in a Montreal hospital. The verdict is undeniable: he is blind, and will grow up orphaned, his mother being too young to raise him. A tragedy for most of us, a blessing in disguise for the little boy… From a foster home to another, Denis proves to be, despite a hard and dark environment, a very happy and lively kid, with an inner world surprisingly colorful. A universe he conveys in sci-fi and adventure stories full of the visionary themes he embraces, which will inspire the birth of the “prophet” artist he will become later. His writings are very popular and allow him, as a teenager, to earn his first awards. But it was only the beginning…
Indeed, if there’s a place where Denis really belongs, it has to be under the spotlights. With a rare gift to capture the attention everywhere he goes, he becomes aware of the hypnotizing power he holds on people by covering all time classics during summer camps, and later, through some talent shows he mostly wins effortlessly. But, what was first a funny way of getting noticed is about to take on a totally different meaning…
We are in 1990. As Denis is listening to the radio, as he always does, a voice dumb-strikes him to the core of his being. Her name: Mariah Carey. The song: “Vision of Love”. Deeply moved by the young artist’s vocal mastery, soul and message, Denis realizes it’s time for him to take the next step towards his dream.
Inspired by this new energy, Denis starts showcasing as much as possible, improving his vocal technique with the internationally reputed vocal coach, Philippe Parent, and records a few cover demos. Over the years, fearless and ready to take on any challenge, we can see him one day as a vocalist of a homeless people choir, the Bonneau Choir, and the other as a street performer, dazzling the Old Montreal tourists and strengthening his fan base. His attaching and sensitive personality grants him some great radio and TV appearances along the way, such as “L’heure J.M.P.” from the TQS network, where he performs… “Vision of Love”, on May 25, 1997.
However, Denis is too ambitious and visionary to limit himself to emulating his idols. The man is a leader and has a very strong idea of his identity and the message he wishes to deliver as an artist. He eventually decides to team up, in 2001, with a producer known as Nazbrok, who finally allows him to start crystallizing his rich and inspiring universe. The unified field “prophet” is awakening through Denis, taboolessly bringing forth controversial issues such as social and sexual prejudices, differences versus oneness, the divinity of the Self and our infinite potential as creators of our own reality, ETs, Life after Death (or rather after Life), reincarnation, love and soulmating (just to name a few), all that colored by an edgy mystique and almost indecent sensuality. One of their collaborations, “Devilicious”, will even be performed live on Energie 94.3, the biggest commercial radio of Quebec, in October 2002, provoking once again kind of an earthquake in the studio.
Nevertheless, the wide Canada ends up being a little too confining to shelter Denis’s fire and creativity. In April 2003, he is invited to perform at the prestigious Madison Square Garden, in the frame of the 10-Day New York International Music And Film Festival. Denis then flies for Athens to lend his voice in support of the 2004 Special Olympics Canadian athletes. In the meanwhile, he collaborates with even more reputed producers as John Bokowski in Los Angeles or Sonny Black, the sound wizard behind the success of famous French-speaking artists, like Corneille and K-Maro.
In April 2005, the search comes full circle. Denis is eventually noticed by Mariah Carey and her team and is picked to participate in “The Reign”, a musical tribute honoring the diva’s inspiring power, scheduled to take place in NY on August 6. Besides, we can still see him moving the crowds in various clubs and open mikes, like the very select Village Underground and Sugar Bar in NY City. He also assures his place in the “Rising Stars” magazine’s double release party, in July, and sees his “Real Eyes” track be part of their mix CD distributed to the music industry’s Who’s Who.
He then is led to audition for Mystery Records, the record label behind the success of Chris Brown, in November 2005, and is enthusiastically approached for a potential deal that very same day by the president who’s simply dazzled in front of the rareness of his vocal and songwriting abilities.
In 2007, Denis performs and literally tears the house down at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York City, in the frame of their “Amateur Nights”, thereby winning the number one spot on two occasions! It is also interesting to note that on those two occasions, among the attendees is Skye Byrne, one of the daughters of Rhonda Byrne, author, creator and executive producer of the ground-breaking book and film, “The Secret”. And not only is she there, but she is there explicitly to see him! He ends the year on a very festive note, as he generously lends his voice for the annual “Unity Telethon” in Santa Barbara California, alongside Kenny Loggins and other artists!
Besides, He astounds many of the world’s greatest personal development leaders today, some of which featured in “The Secret” movie, by singing in the frame of their seminars or workshops. First Mike Dooley, then Bob Proctor and his many co-speakers during his 2007 cruise, among which figures Michael Beckwith, and finally, Joe Vitale along with the many other teachers who are sharing the stage with him, at his “Miracles Weekend” in September 2008.
He then joins CEO Space, an international private business club, at the end of 2009, through which he, along with many other artists, will present an amazing fund-raising show for Haiti, on January 28 of the next year.
Denis Harting is a solo artist, lead singer, and he surrounds himself with 4 to 5 musicians and 2 to 3 backup singers for live performances.
I have no album or single released yet, but as mentioned above, there will be one out in 2010 or early 2011, in the frame of the Annyo project. Meanwhile, I have six demo songs available along with this EPK and one more on my other web page on myspace.
Against all odds, singer driven by visions of stardom, Ignored and dismissed most of his young life - but born with a gift
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Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006 "The anthem singer stood courtside at the Centre Pierre-Cha...Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006
"The anthem singer stood courtside at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau in his tinted glasses and New York Yankees baseball cap. Five feet tall at best, he was dwarfed by the professional basketball players making their final practice free throws just feet away."
"He was led to the centre of the court by the right arm, feet shuffling, head bobbing, right hand twitching furiously, and introduced - just another local singer who would surely butcher the Star-Spangled Banner, a very difficult song to sing, the way so many have before him."
"Then Denis Harting opened his mouth."
"Close your eyes, and it could have been Mariah Carey, or Alicia Keys, or Stevie Wonder, or any classic Motown R&B singer."
"The members of the visiting Long Island Sound looked at each other, then at Harting, in amazement. Then, one after another, they started to sing along."
"Nearly note-perfect and word-perfect, the music streaming out of every fibre of his being, Harting brought the house down."
"(…) Abandoned by a too-young mother he met for the first time when he was 20, and a schizophrenic father now institutionalized in Quebec City, Harting grew up in institutions and foster homes."
"That he has made it this far, ignored and dismissed most of his young life, is just short of a miracle."
"But Harting also was born with a special gift, that voice, a gift he hopes will carry him to fame and fortune and enable him to spread a message of hope around the world."
"‘I'm a white guy who sings black music with a black voice. I'm a francophone who sings in English. I'm a man, and I have a girl's voice. I'm quite a paradox, I know,’ Harting said."
"(…) He was 23 before he received his first formal training, from Montreal vocal coach Philippe Parent. ‘A wonderful voice. Superb intensity, and he understands vocal technique, which is rare with singers today,’ Parent said. ‘Back then, it was the ballads. He was somewhere between Perry Como and Andrea Bocelli. He had it.’"
"(…) The quest for stardom began in earnest about 12 years ago when Harting's girlfriend, Peggy Roux, decided to become his manager. Visually impaired as well but blessed with better health, dogged determination, and unshakable confidence, Roux has dragged Harting kicking and screaming through crises of confidence, bouts with stage fright at the worst possible times, and one disappointment after another."
"(…) They have developed a concept, a performance persona for Harting, an alter ego into which he can disappear when he sings. His name is Christos. One name, like Madonna. He's neither black nor white, sighted or unsighted. ‘He's the light from within,’ Harting said."
"Christos's musical influences cover the gamut: R&B, hip-hop beats, world beats, funk, with a twist of New Age. Christos preaches about the power of diversity, about freedom from self-imposed limitations, and about accepting each other's differences. He is spiritual, but provocative and issue-oriented."
"(…) Their quest has led the couple to pound the winding, confusing streets of New York's Greenwich Village, taking buses and trains from a cheap rooming house in New Jersey into the city to save money. Roux had her purse stolen in a Manhattan restaurant, with a sighted friend sitting right next to her. They were scammed for $130 U.S. by a man claiming to be a security agent in the Port Authority bus terminal. They've been to Athens, where Harting performed at an event to honour the Special Olympians as part of the Summer Games in 2004. He sang in the New York Music Festival in 2003, and in a showcase event for charity last fall."
"He's been on the radio locally, and on television, and even sang with the Acceuil Bonneau choir for three months. But none of it has led to the big break."
"They met Harting's idol, Mariah Carey, when they went to Times Square when the singer was doing promotional appearances for her latest CD. Harting broke into song as they stood behind the ropes, attracting the attention of one of Carey's backup singers. They were brought in for an audience with the great diva herself, and thought to themselves, ‘This is it.’"
"The encounter was a brief one, but the stars weren't aligned. It was back to the drawing board."
"(…) They've never done anything else, and Harting and Roux refuse to set a deadline. ‘The people who have really succeeded had a hard head. They did things to make ends meet, but never said to themselves, 'if it doesn't work. ...'’ Roux said."
"His entire life, Harting has heard the naysayers, from the foster mother who told him as a child he couldn't help with the grocery shopping, to the neighbour in his apartment building who told him that if he thought he was the next Caruso, he was fooling himself."
"‘You can't give up on your dreams and your ideals because society programs you to. I've noticed that those who have a Plan B are those who end up doing Plan B,’ Harting said."
"(…) ‘The message I'd like to get out is that a dream is only impossible for those who make it impossible,’ Harting said."
NY International Music and Film Festival
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"Seven nights, 10 stages, four seminars, four parties, too many fashion shows, hundreds of musical a..."Seven nights, 10 stages, four seminars, four parties, too many fashion shows, hundreds of musical acts, one tired reporter. An offshoot of the venerable
New York International Independent Film and Video Festival and attended by hordes of producers, agents, managers and record labels, the New York International
Music Festival was held April 2-10 at venues and clubs across Manhattan."
"(…) Denis Harting
One of the most intriguing acts of the entire Festival, Denis is blind, a bit hyperactive, possesses an androgynous voice and perhaps worst of all, is white.
But his R&B performance was fiercely intense, completely sensual, and downright stunning. He dropped every jaw in the joint, received a standing ovation,
then got out in the middle of the floor and danced to other people's music. Performing professionally since 1993, the Montreal-based singer/songwriter/producer
has released multiple solo and group demos and appeared on several television programs."
I mix originals and covers. As covers, I do mainly classic and modern soul R&B hits. I can also do classics in other genres, but I make them my own, with a definite soul flavor. I never do the exact same songs, I like variety.
Depending on the context and needs, sets can last anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes. I can either do a whole show all at once or say up to three sets. Again, I like to be flexible.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.