It wasn’t skiing, however, that made singing a prominent part of her life. More than 10 years ago, her sister’s friend gave her the confidence boost she needed to ask her parents for vocal lessons. Who would have guessed a simple compliment about a nine-year-old’s rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star would play such an influential role in a girl’s life? It was at that moment, Gardam truly thought she could be a good singer.
“I was like ‘Oh, maybe I should try seeing where this goes.’,” she said. Vocal lessons were just the first step. She joined the school choir then worked her way up to singing at coffee houses, before acting and performing in Anne of Green Gables in her senior year.
Her confident delivery offers no hint of her inner worry – forgetting the next lyric. It’s not performing in front of a large Disney crowd of 500 people that makes her nervous but instead, the 10-word verse that follows.
"I stop thinking about everything that’s happening and just focus." - Annabelle Gardam, Singer.
Gardam thrives by practicing in the comfort of her own room because she can keep the lyrics close by. She sings with the words tucked to her side, glancing at them periodically. With her self-described “awful memory,” sitting at her desk with her microphone, alone, is much less daunting.
She prefers singing soft pop songs and turning them into slow, smooth jazz. The slower the song, the more she feels she’s able to massage the beat with her voice and make it her own. She’s most experienced, however, in musical theatre. Even with more up-beat songs, like with musical theatre, she prefers them to be slow.
“If I’m singing too fast it just sounds like I’m talking or rapping really badly,” she said.