Marvin Gaye can easily be put down as one of the greatest soul singers of our time, and it seems only fitting that Vika Bull help tell his story in the biographic show Let’s Get It On. Vika is no newbie to the tribute show scene, as she’s helped tell the story of Etta James for the past year and a half. Rather than adding another notch to her achievements, Vika is an admirer of the artists’ work and relishes in the chance to help tell their story.
“Etta was a singer I listened to a lot growing up, well maybe not growing up, but when I became a singer she was one of the ones I connected with. Just hearing her sing and her power and her passion for singing is what drew me to her,” Vika says.
Granted, Etta has been a huge influence on Vika’s career, but Marvin has played a significant role in shaping her career and is someone she admires deeply.
“Marvin has the same thing. He has that spiritual thing; they all have this thing inside them that you can hear. When they sing it’s very powerful and they believe every word they sing. You’re drawn into it, and I think that’s what I love about them,” she says.
“And I love Marvin’s songwriting and how he did a lot of duets with great female singers, especially Tammi Terrell, so that’s the bit I’ll be doing in the Marvin show.”
While the Let’s Get It On show is returning for an encore season, Vika is a new addition to the cast this time around and will be replacing Jude Perl in the lead female role, alongside Bert LaBonte as Marvin.
Even with her extensive career in the music industry, which has seen her work with the likes of Paul Kelly, John Butler, Dan Sultan and Kasey Chambers, she’s still “shitting herself” for her performance as Tammi.
“It’s a new show so I’m nervous and I don’t want to let the team down. We’re singing a lot of Marvin anthems which mean a lot to people so I want to make sure that I do it properly,” she says.
Though Vika has complete faith in her ability to sing the hits, as ‘All I Need to Get By’ and ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing’ are amongst a few of her favourite songs, her nerves really rest in her spoken parts.
“Well, that’s hard for me; that’s the hardest part. It’s harder to speak than it is to sing for me,” Vika says.
Having nerves is a completely natural thing, and it simply shows that even with her status in the industry she can be apprehensive as well. Aside from everything she’s said, Vika is confident that the cast and lead role, played by Bert, the show is bound to be a success.
“Bert is the real deal too, and I’m looking forward to singing with him,” she says.
“I just think people will really love the show. Bert is an amazing singer and Marvin’s story is beautiful but it’s tragic. And the thing was about Marvin is that his songwriting and his voice makes him one of the best singers in a long time.”
When&Where: GPAC – October 16
By Amanda Sherring