When Raffi Arto’s parents bought him a piano, his life was forever changed.
The 16-year-old from Saint-Martin-du-Tertre, France, had asked his parents for a piano while on a shopping trip. His parents said yes, assuming the 6-year-old boy would quickly tire of his new toy.
After playing with the toy for a few hours, Raffi called his mother into the living room. He had taught himself how to play the Back to the Future theme song.
From then on, Raffi practiced the piano every day, usually devoting himself to 2-3 hours. He grew particularly fond of rock music, taking after his dad.
As Raffi got older, he developed other passions like boxing and football— but he put them on the backburner to audition for The Voice: La Plus Belle Voix, the French version of The Voice.
During his audition, the sixteen-year-old dropped the judges’ jaws with his rendition of “Everybody Needs Somebody” by The Blues Brothers.
Although the teen’s voice wasn’t yet refined, his rockabilly roots and natural talents were evident. As he progresses throughout the competition, he only got better from there.
One of Raffi’s most popular performances is his version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” by Elvis Presley.
Recorded by Presley as part of his 1961 Blue Hawaii album, the song’s melody is based off a 1784 love song written by Jean-Paul-Egide Martini. With lyrics such as, “Shall I stay/ Would it be a sin if I can’t help falling in love with you,” the ballad describes a person unable to resist the feelings they have for a lover.
Since the song topped the charts back in 1962, artists like U2, Britney Spears, and Twenty One Pilots have all performed modern versions— but 16-year-old Raffi’s may just take the cake.
At the beginning of the video, the handsome teen is seated at a white, grand piano.
Dressed to the nines, he plays the opening notes of the Presley song before opening his mouth to sing. As smoke billows over the stage floor and lights illuminate the black background, Raffi looks like an angel.
His smooth voice is clear and controlled as he croons the classic lyrics.
Although no one cans sing the song quite like The King himself, Raffi’s heartfelt rendition is incredible to hear.
In an interview with Le Parisien, he explained his time on The Voice was “not easy” but he always tried to include two things in his performances:
“I showed my rock side, but also my emotional side.”
Raffi’s incredible skills went on to make him a fan favorite.
Throughout the competition, he was often saved by the public, telling Programme TV: “If people voted for me, it was because they joined my world and they liked what I was doing. I did not expect that.”
“The three times I have been saved by the public, I will remember all my life. It was great.”
Since being uploaded to YouTube, Raffi’s audition has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Comments on the video read:
“WOW, SO SWEET VOICE.”
“The King would be proud of you.”
Watch his performance below!
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