TORONTO — I Believe was the perfect song at the perfect time for Nikki Yanofsky.
The 16-year-old Montreal singer had already gained prominence on the jazz circuit — performing at the Montreal Jazz Festival when she was just 12 .
But she really launched into the mainstream this year.
Before the Olympics began, Yanofsky’s I Believe — CTV’s official song of the Games — received heavy airplay.
And then she performed O Canada at the opening ceremonies.
“Just kind of knowing that 3.2 billion people were watching . . . it was pretty nerve-racking, but definitely in the best way possible,” Yanofsky said while promoting her first studio album, Nikki. “I was just practising over and over again and (thinking), ‘Please don’t mess up, I want to do my country proud.”’
Yanofsky calls the opportunity the chance of a lifetime, particularly since it’s dovetailed into the release of her CD.
The album includes I Believe, her renditions of some jazz standards and some poppier originals. Yanofsky is eager to branch out.
“With this album I really wanted it to be eclectic,” she said.
“I was doing a deliberate thing where I wanted to have pop and then jazz and I really wanted everyone to have an open mind and hear what I love to hear.
“You listen to the covers and you hear who influenced me and what influenced me. And then you go to the original songs — which I co-wrote except for one — and you kind of get to know me through the lyrics.”