Local musician looking to get noticed on global scale

By Charles King

A local woman is working her way towards being the next singing sensation through a world-wide singing competition.

Elena Papillo, 23, sent her audition video to Avon Voices early January and has made it to round one of a four round contest.  The cosmetics industry Avon is hosting this singing contest in celebration of their 125th anniversary.  Papillo and roughly 180 contestants qualified for round one out of 6,000 people worldwide.

Elena Papillo (right) and her sister Marianne Gignac stand in Gignac’s home where they filmed Papillo’s audition video for Avon Voices.

“It’s been pretty exciting so far,” said Papillo.  “The experience has been awesome.”

Papillo said the round one and two music videos were recorded in Nashville, TN.  She stayed there for three days recording at a professional studio and received a free Avon makeover.  Papillo said she is looking forward to moving on to the final rounds which will be recorded in New York and Los Angeles.

Papillo’s sister, Marianne Gignac heard about the contest from an Avon representative at work and told Papillo this would be a great opportunity for her.

“The next thing you know I’m with my two brothers and my sister and we’re shooting my video to put online,” said Papillo.

The audition video “Wind beneath my wings” by Whitney Houston was filmed in Gignac’s home in Amherstburg and sent to the Avon judges.  There are 11 celebrity judges including Fergie, Diane Warren, Natasha Bedingfield and Sheila E.  If she wins, Papillo will have a national singing contract with Avon.

Papillo is currently a student at the University of Windsor working on a nursing degree.  She said singing has always been her passion.

“I’ve always had music in my life,” said Papillo. “I’ve been singing up on stage and at festivals since I was 14.”

Along with yearly festivals, Papillo enjoys singing at various bars and has been part of a few bands.

“I’ve always wanted the world to hear my voice, I like to share that,” said Papillo.

Papillo’s profile can be found at www.avonvoices.com.  Voting for round one ends in May and Papillo is looking for as much support from her community as possible.

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