Marc Martel is the man tasked with fronting former Queen drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May’s latest project to get their band’s music into concert halls.

The former singer for Canadian Christian rockers Downhere says the biggest challenge is for his vocal cords.

“I can’t get away with singing the way [Freddie Mercury] sang live. He would avoid high notes to save his voice but he pushed himself as hard as he could in the studio in a way he could sustain night after night.”

Martel tries to hit the big choruses and high notes every night. He knows it’s what the crowds want.

“Sleep is the most important thing. I try to do them all but if I’m feeling tired, I have to avoid some.”

After wrapping his voice around a home-cut YouTube version of Somebody To Love, which has now had more than seven million hits, Martel was invited to final auditions in LA in front of the team putting together The Queen Extravaganza, including Taylor and Queen collaborator and keys player Spike Edney.

“I’m not really the sort of person who gets nervous around celebrities,” he says about the auditions for a touring show which made its debut on American Idol in 2012.

“It was just fun to watch people react to Roger because he is quite unassuming and brings a very joyful presence into the room. Also it was different for me because I’m not a lifelong Queen fan – although I will be from now on.”

He says Taylor and May have a big interest in the show.

“Brian and Roger were there at the beginning in LA with us. Roger was the strongest presence. He was there for whole month, in initial rehearsals in Toronto and Montreal and at the first four or five shows. This is his dream and baby so he is very hands-on. But now we have come into our own.”

Martel clearly likes to be the boss. He led Downhere through ten albums between 1999 and 2011.

And with such a voice, why is Martel not doing his own music?

“I am actually working on a solo record,”

he reveals. “Hopefully it’ll be done by the end of the year.

“But if you are going to be doing someone else’s music, it may as well be the best rock and roll music ever written.

“The Queen Extravaganza is a nice little break. It’s great to have everyone know every word to every song, to get up there and know it is going to be a success.”