I was enjoying a rather entertaining Sunday evening of Idols SA programming, being kept in stitches by farting girls and people that thought they were blessed with the singing voices of a choir of angels and so clearly were not when this rather interesting and talented chap from the town of George (a few hours outside of Cape Town) named Elvis Blue walked on the screen. He proceeded to wow the judges, myself and get several mooiness around the country swooning over him all in the space of 3 minutes. We decided to get hold of him and find out a little bit more about the musician behind what is possibly one of the coolest names in the biz.
MyCityByNight- Hi Elvis! First of alll, thanks so much for taking some time out to chat with us!
MCBN- For everyone that hasn’t already heard about the story behind your rather catchy and awesome name, could you please tell us where it comes from?
Elvis Blue: My Wife works at a Hospice in one of the informal settlements around George. I would sometimes go and visit some patients….just sit and chat with them. Whilst doing this I met a young boy there named Elvis Blaauw. He had been infected with HIV since birth and like so many other kids in our country he had spent his whole life in hospital alone and without parents. Even though this kid had the worst circumstances imaginable he was an amazingly joyful person. Quite intriguing with a magnetic personality. I really enjoyed going to visit him. I would sometimes just take my guitar and jam a few tunes. He loved music and always told me how he wanted to be a keyboard player. I always thought…man; this kid has the coolest name to be a Muzo. My real name is Jan Hoogendyk so I am naturally kind of jealous of people with names like Elvis’s. It was very sad day for us when Elvis passed away. When the opportunity came to do idols I knew I needed a name. Jan Hoogendykis not quite a name that you would associate with an English pop artist. I immediately thought of my friend Elvis with the big dreams. Hence the name Elvis Blue.
MCBN- That’s pretty hectic stuff, I’m sure regardless of what happens in the rest of the competition he will definitely be remembered. Speaking of being quite a good oke generally, you also help kids in the informal settlements around George to play guitar- how many little rockstars do you currently jam with and where can we go to find out more information about helping out?
Elvis Blue: I mostly work with two organizations in George. These are amazing people who do incredible work uplifting the community. Bethesda, and life community services. I simply teach a few of the thousands of kids these people serve with food and clothes and pretty much everything they need each day. These organizations could do with a boost. Check them out. They truly make a difference.
Life community service : http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=32034121679
MCBN- You entered Idols singing a cover if Bob Dylan’s “Make you feel my love”, which got Mara to cry like a South African rugby supporter over the past couple of weekends- that’s pretty powerful stuff, who were your musical influences when growing up?
Elvis Blue: I love all types of music. My mom is a classical piano teacher, so growing up our house was filled with classical music. We had a fireplace and my parents decided to put a massive organ in its place. The whole house would shake when my mom, this really tiny lady, started playing the organ. I loved it. Later on I discovered my favorites…. Bruce Springsteen, U2, Dylan, Stevie ray Vaughan. I really love all music though. The only music I struggle to get a handle on is Rap music.
MCBN- Did you always know that you were going to be a musician or did you also have a brief stint believing that you could be a surgeon with a rather unsteady hand like I did?
Elvis Blue: I spent a brief period waitering at the spur on Beyers Naudee drive as a sixteen year old…let me tel you…. it was not pretty. I sucked so badly that the manager told me that the only way I could earn money was by being Chico the clown. The guy who sings happy birthday. When I couldn’t take the shame and embarrassment and the lack of female attention anymore I picked up the guitar. I haven’t stopped making and writing music since.
MCBN- Apart from being a philanthropist and someone who we believe has a massive shot at taking this year’s title (early days we know, but we think you’re that good), what do you do for fun?
Elvis Blue: When I moved to George 3 years ago I started surfing. I love it. I also enjoy chilling at home with my beautiful wife and daughter
MCBN- What is in your car cd player at the moment?
Elvis Blue: Children’s music………Apparently it stimulates brain development or something. Maybe my daughter could be good at maths. I never was.
MCBN- If you could perform with any artist/band in the world dead or alive, who would it be and where it happen?
Elvis Blue: I have to name more than one.
U2 ……time Square New york
ladysmith black mambazo………in the Sydney opera house
Bruce Springsteen…. In my living room. Just me and him, pen and paper and some good red wine.
MCBN- We’ll be in your corner and using all of our airtime to keep you there right till the end, just don’t pull an “Amy Winehouse” on us and go all crazy.
Elvis Blue: Thanks man…Will definitely try keep it together and not go completely koekoes. Cant wait for the rest of the experience.
MCBN- Now for the famous MyCityByNight would you rather question:
Would you rather perform love songs for a rowdy yet lovable group of Pollsmore prison inmates on Valentines Day or instead be forced to sing only remixes of nursery rhymes for the entirety of your next album?
Nursery rhymes without a doubt.
MCBN- Thanks again for chatting to us Elvis, we had a blast. Best of luck for the rest of the competition!!! We’ll be keeping a close eye on your progress, don’t forget about us when you’re shooting your first video- we’re awesome at cameos!!!!
You can follow Elvis Blue’s progress and updates on his Twitter and Facebook pages found over HERE.