Ramin Karimloo, singer & actor

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music?

It was a collection of things.  Hearing the music of the Tragically Hip, Johnny Cash, Tracey Chapman, Ray Charles and Kenny Rogers around the house growing up really spoke to my heart.  Then I went on a school trip to see ‘The Phantom of The Opera’ and remember being completely inspired by Colm Wilkinson and the idea of being an actor who gets to play ‘The Phantom’

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Well the aforementioned artists and show.  That opened up my heart and my desire to learn.  From there I would add to the ‘list of influences’ the film O Brother Where Art Thou which lead me to Dan Tyminski, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Tim Eriksen, The Avett Brothers.  As an actor I was always watching folks like Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Kathy Bates, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hanks, … the list goes on and on.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

I try to always be improving and evolving. Anything new is a challenge but also exciting to try and figure out. So I am not sure there’s been a ‘greatest challenge’ as everything has had its challenges. I have been fortunate to be supported throughout which I’m forever grateful for.

Of which performance/recordings are you most proud?

I am extremely proud of my current album, ‘From Now On’. I really feel that we as a band (and with producer Bob Held) have truly become a unit.  We have our sound, our energy and our identity.

I am extremely proud of the cast recordings of Love Never Dies, Anastasia and of course the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of The Opera.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

Whenever we tour we always choose songs that speak to our hearts first.  I never want to sing a song for the sake of it or because of other expectations.  I would rather give the best of who we are as much and as often as we can..

As a band we are always evolving and when we know we have a tour coming up we always have new ideas that we want to try.  What is always fun about our tours is we never do the same set list. Each show will have its own flow and energy and usually different song choices.

Do you have a favourite concert venue in which to perform in and why?

I love the Royal Albert Hall. Always excited to play there.  We played the London Palladium which was great to play in.  But honestly, whether it’s an intimate space or a large concert hall, we just love to play as a band.  We have been fortunate to play around the world and loved it all.  Our supporters truly make the experience.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

I remember how the band felt as our show at the London Palladium was about to begin. I remember a few were a little anxious as it dawned on us that we were about to play a sold out show at this historic venue.

As a singer, what is your definition of success?

Being content with your choices and continually finding and seeking inspiration.  Of course you have to support yourself and those around you.  It helps that if the thing you love to do affords you just a little more than what you need.  This includes the allowance of time which you can give to your loved ones and friends.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring singers?

An exceptional work ethic. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Striving to be better than yesterday. Keeping your ‘process’ off social media. You don’t need to share everything. Take time to hone your craft in privacy and with people who support and challenge.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being ‘Time Rich’


Ramin Karimloo is an Iranian- born Canadian actor and singer, best known for his portrayal of leading roles Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. His new album From Now On was released in August 2019.

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