Forever the 'Idols guy'
After a platinum debut album, sharing the stage with international stars including Westlife and UB40 and opening for James Blunt, Elvis Blue is still struggling to shed his tag as "the Idols guy".
Two years ago the 31-year-old was crowned winner of season six of the popular singing competition, and has not struggled to secure gigs nationwide.
On Monday Lifeline, the first single off his upcoming sophomore album, Journey, was sent to radio stations around the country.
Journey is expected to be available for sale in stores on July 13. The singer, whose real name is Jan Hoogendyk, will embark on 32-show nationwide tour in August to support the album.
This week he talked about the sophomore jinx, writing with international songwriters, his relationship with Lloyd Cele, and how he deals with nerves before going on stage.
On his friendship with Cele, with whom he decided to share his R500000 prize money when they finished one and two in season 6: "We still see each other, and a lot of the times we'll be on the same bill. Every now and again there is a call just to find out what's going on."
On the album: "We wrote as many as 55 songs and had to whittle it down to the 13 on the album. We also have a special edition coming out, with a further four songs. I'm a musician, I don't decide what songs are singles. I have people who know what's going on out there."
On the trials of writing with other people: "If you're writing for the sake of writing, then it's difficult, but if you have a clear idea of what you want to write about then you usually find most people have experienced similar things; loss and some kind of love. If you sit long enough, you can all relate to those stories."
On being an adult contemporary singer-songwriter coming from an essentially pop-affiliated competition: "When I went for my first [Idols] audition, I didn't think I would go through, because I was too old. I mean, I was 30. I'm not a pop artist, I write songs on my guitar. I didn't think I would do well. I wish I was a better dancer, but I'm not. Hopefully some people like me."
On convincing people he was a "real artist" and not manufactured: "I will probably always be that Idols guy ... that's difficult as an adult contemporary artist, because I want people to listen to my songs and like my music."
On caring for his voice on tour: "The voice never stays in shape for long, unfortunately. Usually before big shows I get sick and I have to sing without my voice."
Does he projectile-vomit like Adele before big gigs? "No, But I used to tour with Karen Zoid and I used to watch her freak before her shows. I used to think: 'Dude, you're Karen Zoid, why are you nervous?'"