Jacques Houdek is known to be the best vocalist of the young generation in Croatia and the Balkans region. He is a is singer, a songwriter and a vocal coach. Often referred to as „THE VOICE“ of Croatia, he indeed is a very special, unique and versatile artist in today's music. This 34-year old singer from Zagreb with 14 years of professional stage and studio experience has got a lot to offer when it comes to music; no matter the genre - soul, funky, disco, r'n'b, pop, blues, swing, jazz, classical... you name it - he nails it! He is also a rare example among today's vocalists because of his ability to sing in numerous different languages; English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Macedonian, Slovenian and of course his native Croatian.
Jacques is a classically trained vocalist and was expected to become an opera tenor. His life long passion for contemporary music was much stronger though, so his voice teacher Viktorija Badrov was left heartbroken when he decided to follow his dreams and pursue a career in popular music. By the end of his classical music education Jacques already released his first pop album. He perfected his voice in vocal labs and music seminars in Greece, France and Italy, where he worked with a lot of classicaly trained voice principals and also with the Grammy nominee Donna McElroy, associate professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Today, his very impressive vocal range is 3,5 octaves (both chest voice and falsetto).
As an aspiring young singer, he looked up to a number of iconic vocalists like Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Babyface, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Roberta Flack, Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and many others. As a passionate music lover, over the years he fell in love with different kinds of music which ultimately affected his vocal style a lot; Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Tom Jones, George Michael, Michael Buble, Celine Dion as well as some of the biggest bands; The Beatles, Queen and Abba became some of his favourites. Among the younger generation of singers, Jacques looks up to vocalists like Bruno Mars, Usher, Craig David, Beyonce, Jessie J, Pink...
Jacques started his professional career in music in the year 2000 as a studio session vocalist; at first he recorded backing vocals for croatian dance band Colonia, later on for many others. Along with working in the recording studio, he started performing live in the most popular live music club in Zagreb called "Sax!" with his band and back-up vocalists. They continued to play there on a weekly basis for a period of 8 years. His talent was discovered by maestro Zdravko Šljivac, a famous croatian composer and conducter, and Jacques was instantly signed to Croatia Records, the biggest record company in the region. Over the years he has released 9 studio albums and 2 live CD/DVDs. These albums became silver, gold, platinum and even diamond for their great sales, and Jacques became one of the most popular young performers in Croatia and the Balkans region. His hit singles have placed him in the official top 10 most air-played artists in Croatia in the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He sold out the largest concert hall in Croatia "Vatroslav Lisinski" seven times.
Jacques is a multiple winner of the PORIN award (Croatian Grammy) in the following categories; Vocalist of the year, Artist of the year, Album of the year and Christmas album of the year. In addition to that, he has been nominated in other PORIN categories frequently, mostly for his outstanding vocal performances. In the year 2007 and the year 2010 he won the first prize in the most popular live TV show in Croatia -"Singing with the stars" on the Croatian National Television. In the year 2007. he was a judge in a talent search competition called "Showtime" aired on Nova TV Croatia. He was voted numerous times as the best vocalist and interpretor on the festivals all around the region, and has performed all around the world. December 19, 2010. he celebrated his 10 years in the music industry as one of the artists that took part in the Holiday benefit concert held at the Lincoln Centre in New York City. Over the years, he successfully collaborated with most of Balkans top artists and producers, took part in hundreds of charity events and benefit concerts, contributed to a large number of charity organisations and helped out to those individuals in need. He is proud to have become a full time member of HDS (Croatian composers society) as of year 2013.
In the year 2011, his hit song „Stotinama godina“ became Nr.1 single in the official Croatian Radio Chart, Jacques was presented the Turki Party Radio Show Award for male artist of the year, the CMC festival Best Song Award, and ultimatively got nominated for the Porin award in the Hit of the year category. Jacques was also once again nominated for interpreting the same song in the Vocalist of the year category. This beautiful song written by Ante Pecotić became a signature song for Jacques and remains his biggest hit to this date. In 2012. he released his last studio album called "Meni za ljubav". At the album release party he surprised everyone with the announcement that he will be taking some time off from the limelight in order to get some creative rest and to spend more time with his family. After taking a two year break from his music career, Jacques "The Voice" is finally back, better than ever, making his big comeback as a winning coach on "The Voice" Croatia talent show 2015. A contestant of Team Jacques Nina Kraljić won the contest and became the first croatian THE VOICE.