Marie Hui, anthem singer for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, is in the midst of getting ready to perform at last Thursday's match. She arrived about an hour before the game to unwind and focus on her upcoming performance. Another big part of her pre-performance ritual includes warming up her voice in her dressing room. Once she is well hydrated and her voice is warmed-up, she makes her way from her dressing room to the pitch. Even though she is admittedly nervous, she comes off completely in control and confident that she will rock her performance as she has night after night this season. At this point in the year, Marie is like an old pro but it hasn’t always been this seamless.
Hui’s journey with Whitecaps FC began back in March of this year. First, she beat out 240 other video contestants to get the chance to audition on Empire Field in front of a judging panel. Hui and 12 other semi-finalists were chosen to battle it out one at a time singing both the Canadian and American national anthems. The clear standout of the group was Marie Hui who brought a certain soul to both anthems. It is because of this audition process that Hui’s best memories as the anthem singer for Whitecaps FC, reside on Empire Field. However; a close second would have been the first match at BC Place.
Hui, whose influences include Alicia Keys, Adele and The Brand New Heavies, also sings in other bands Groove N Tonic and Soul Sistah’s. She is a fan of singing funk, motown and R&B above all else but is so grateful that she gets to sing anthems as well.
“I am so appreciative of what the Whitecaps have given me” said Hui, “the exposure I get from being seen at every game has been great.”
Although she’s comfortable with performing, she is still humbled and slightly embarrassed by seeing her face on the second largest screen in North America.
“It’s so big up there!”
Growing up, she listened to the likes of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey but didn’t exactly have the typical childhood of a singer; she never took vocal lessons meaning, so far, all of her singing has been attributed to the natural talent and tone she was born with. This is not to say she hasn’t worked hard to achieve what she has in her music career.