Loic was born in Paris in 1972 but his parents moved to the countryside, near the Champagne region, when he was 3. Loic did not return to the big city until he was 18 to pursue his career.
“I really loved growing up in the countryside. I’m kind of a farm boy; I’m only happy surrounded by trees and animals. I had to go to Paris because that was where everything happened, but I never felt at home there. Too much noise, too much electricity in the air and waaaaaay too many people for me.”
The First Steps:
It was in his small country town that Loic’s career started when he was 6 years old and joined a professional children’s choir.
“I don’t know where it came from, but I was always singing and putting on shows as far as I can remember. In primary school, every recess time, I would take my place in a corner of the school yard and give a full-on performance singing and dancing for the other kids.”
Loic had his first singing lessons in the choir, learning to breathe “in the belly” and repeating scales after scales. For 6 years, the choir toured in France, giving concerts in churches and town halls.
Loic also wrote his first song at the age of 6.
From Choir to Musical Theatre:
When he turned 12, Loic was too old to stay in the choir. So, he joined a Jazz band and sang jazz and pop standards at balls and music festivals. During that same period, encouraged by his mum who was an amateur actress, he started becoming more involved in theatre and was getting parts in plays.
For a few years, Loic navigated between singing and acting without ever combining both. Until he discovered “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” (The Young Girls from Rochefort), the masterpiece by Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand. That musical would change his life forever!
“The weird thing is that I was singing in a band on the one hand and acting in theatre on the other, but I never thought I could actually do both in one activity. When I discovered that there was a form of performance combining my 2 passions, singing and acting, my whole world exploded. To me, it was like suddenly, life had no limit.”
So, Loic studied and learned all the musicals he could get his hands on.
“There is that thing in me that makes me want to know everything all the time. When I’m passionate about something, I will study it in every detail to the core until I know everything there is to know. My partner thinks I have Asperger’s because it’s almost impossible to make me stop learning. So, when I was 13, I decided to learn every song (male and female) of every musical there was by heart. I was insatiable. But in the 80’s, apart from Les Misérables and a couple of others, there were not many French musicals so, I also learned American musicals like West Side Story and Mary Poppins, although I didn’t understand a word.”
As a teenager, Loic played in several musicals and toured with “Peter Pan”, “The French Revolution” and “Mary Poppins” among others.
At 15, the principal of his high school asked him to write and compose a musical for the annual school play. That’s how Loic’s first musical “Naked, my hands in my pockets” was created.
“It was, without any surprise, a musical about teenagers and our struggles. Nothing really original there. Although the musical was shit, (trust me it was), the experience was great. It was the first time that others were going to sing my songs and that I would see something I created take shape and become alive on stage.”
Alice Dona’s Performing Arts School
Loic got his HSC in 1989 and 2 years later, to “please his parents”, he passed a Master of Psychology.
“The deal with my parents was clear. I had to get one conventional diploma of some sort, and after that, I could whatever I wanted.”
With that deal settled, and after his master, Loic passed the audition to join the prestigious Alice Dona’s Performing Arts School. For 2 years, he studied stage techniques, music theory, composition, song writing, piano, guitar, drums, acting (Actors studio), vocal techniques and even ballet and modern jazz dance.
“It was a very tough school, intransigent and unforgiving, just like the industry we wanted to work in. All our teachers were renowned professionals. When you are mentored by people like Alice Dona, Claude Lemesle, Anton Valéry, Françoise Raquin or Dominique Minot from the French Comedy, you have no choice; we had to be our best all the time. We wrote something like 6 or 7 songs per week and rehearsed them, and rehearsed the choreographies and had to present them. It was mental but it was the best training we could dream of. After that school, we were bulletproof. We could do anything and become anyone.”
From Performer to Director
It was in Alice’s school that Loic discovered his passion for directing and coaching.
“I must admit I was a bit tired of singing; probably because by that time, I had already done it for 12 years, touring and performing every week. So, I think I needed to move onto something else, something less personal. At Alice’s, we were always working in a team and group, and probably because of my past, my friends regularly asked me to direct and coach whatever project we were working on. That’s when I realised I was having more fun and getting more satisfaction from directing others and helping them perform, than from performing myself. So I guess it was only natural that when I left Alice’s school, I started to work as an Artistic director and no longer as a performer.”
After leaving Alice Dona’s school, Loic started working on small projects, coaching emerging bands or singers and directing small productions and musicals. But it didn’t take long before his work got noticed. At 21, Loic worked with artists such as Karim Kacel, Romain Didier, De Palmas and Allan Théo. Several songs and albums he directed became gold records and won awards. Due to his young age, Loic became a sort of “curiosity” in the French music industry. He started making a name for himself and quickly became “the Artistic director” everyone wanted to work with. The major record labels, Universal, Sony and EMI, called him to coach their artists and direct their productions. Former CEO of Universal Music, Pascal Nègre said “Loic is like an alchemist. No matter what you give him, a song or a singer, he turns them into gold”.
But while working for the “pop” industry, Loic didn’t forsake musical theatre. He directed prestigious musicals, including “Les Misérables” and “Van Gogh” which won Best Musical in 1992. He worked for the biggest stages in Paris and in 1993, Walt Disney productions hired him to take on the artistic direction of the French singing parts of their new film “Aladdin”.
Movie Score Composer
In the meantime, Loic discovered a new passion: Screen Music.
“A friend of mine was a filmmaker and asked me if I could compose the soundtrack for his film. As a songwriter, I had always used words to express feelings and emotions. I wasn’t quite sure I could do that with only music and sounds. But I tried and somehow, it worked. Composing for a film was a revelation for me. At that stage, I was 23-24 years old and I guess I was drowning a bit in my own success in the Music Industry. The farm boy in me needed to step back a bit from the “Star System”, so I focused on the 2 activities where beauty and music were still more important than marketing and profit: Musicals and Movie scores.”
Loic has signed the scores of numerous feature films, TV series, short films and documentaries. Among his work, “The 4th Musketeer”, “House of Cards”, “June 44”, “Rise of The Eco-Warriors”, “Girl Clock” and “One June Afternoon”. In 2008, Loic was invited as a judge for the Heart of Gold Internationa Film Festival where he reviewed films with Margaret Pomeranz. In 2013, Loic received the Award of “Best Movie Score Composer” from the Australian Screen Industry Network.
The Vocal Coach
Despite being quite busy with his different hats, in 1992, Loic started teaching singing to “everyday people”, but for a very good reason.
“When I was working for the Major labels, I needed to keep my feet on the ground, I needed to stay connected to reality. So, while working for famous artists and on big productions, I started to teach singing to ‘normal people’, to people like you and me. And that’s kept me in touch with who I really am and where I came from. Singing has been part of my life since I was 6. Everything I am, everything I know, everything I can do revolves around singing. It has brought so much to my life that, even though I was working with big names, I wanted to share it with “the others”. And there were so many people around me who wanted to learn to sing. I had to do something.”
Loic takes only 15 private students every year.
“I’ve never considered teaching singing a ‘job’. I don’t do it for the money. It’s more like a calling, a vocation. Somehow, it gives me the impression that I’m doing something good, that I may be useful to others. A famous quote says that the purpose in Life is to find your gift, but the meaning of Life is to give it away. Well, that’s what I want to do.
But singing is a very personal experience for everyone. Each person who comes to me comes with his/her own strengths and weaknesses; courage and fears; doubts and certitudes. To be a good singing coach, you have to know the people you mentor, you have to care for them. That’s why I only take 15 students every year. That way, I can really be close to them and focus on who they are on a personal basis.”
The Crazy Twenties:
Loic’s twenties were crazy times. He was an artistic director, a vocal coach, a songwriter, and a movie score composer, but a new trend changed his life tremendously. 1994 saw the beginning of a new musical phenomenon, Karaoke. For the first time, ‘everyday people’, who were so important for Loic, could pretend to be stars for one night or just for a song. Loic jumped on the trend and became the artistic director and entertainer of what would become Paris’ biggest and most prestigious Karaoke club: The “Star Planet”.
“That was honestly the craziest time of my life. The Star Planet was a karaoke club, a bar, a restaurant and a night club, all in the same place. Every night, we would get around 300-400 people coming to sing and dance and have fun. It was mental! And for me, it was fantastic because suddenly I could be everything I’d always been in one place. I was a performer, a director, a businessman and all that in an environment where ‘normal people’ could be stars. It was heaven! Crazy, mad and decadent because, you know… It’s Paris and it’s “Nightlife”. So… lots of parties, lots of girls and lots of alcohol. But overall, a fantastic period of my life.”
The Leap of Faith:
In 2000, Loic came to Australia for holidays. This encounter between Australia and Loic would change his life for ever.
“I think we’d been in Australia for only 2 days and I remember that morning perfectly. It was pouring rain. That sort of heavy tropical rain you only find in Australia. I was on the deck, alone, a coffee in my hand, and as I was watching and listening to the rain, I suddenly had a weird feeling. Something I had not felt in a long time. I felt ‘at home’. I couldn’t explain why, but I felt like I was where I belonged. After the crazy life I had in Paris, the fame, the nights, the spotlights, the Star-system and the parties, the country boy was finally back home.”
The decision was made. Loic came back to France to finish all his contracts. He sold all his belongings; packed what was left and moved to Australia the next year for good.
“When you think of it, it was a crazy move. I had a very good live in France; good job, good money and kind of a reputation. So, to suddenly dump everything I had worked for, and live on the other side of the world, in a country I barely knew anything about, (after all, I had only spent 3 weeks there), and with me not even speaking a word of English!!! That was insane. But I’ve never regretted that choice.”
PRODUCER – DIRECTOR
Since he arrived in Australia, Loic has continued his work as an artistic director, vocal coach and composer. Today, Loic and his life partner Lee live in Brisbane. Besides his activities as director and vocal coach, Loic teaches songwriting, moveim score composing and several ‘Entertainment Business’ units at JMC Academy in Brisbane.
In 2018, Loic and his partner Leanne Schmidt opened their own Performing Arts School, the “Loic Valmy Broadway Academy”.
In 2019, they created their own Production Company ‘Alchemy Prods’. And finally, in 2020, in the turmoil of Covid, they opened their own Talent Agency called ‘Celestia’.