This week saw the first ever live performance from Melbourne-based Kevin Fraser right here in Perth. He has built up a bit of a cult following in the last year thanks to his hilarious YouTube videos which started out as a simple way to tell his friends and family back in South Africa all about his Australian adventures.
I sat down with Kevin a few days before his show to find out more about the man behind the camera, how he got to where he is today and most importantly what’s next for him.
Of course the first thing I wanted to know more about was ‘the voice’. You guys know what I’m talking about. Kevin said he started using the voice back in his primary school days, and it just became something that was synonymous with him amongst his friends and family. Anna was the real inspiration behind the voice though, the Fraser family’s maid and who is still with their family 25 years later. Kevin describes her as a second mother, his ‘African mother’, which is easy to believe when growing up in South Africa, your maid was often one of the main family carers during the week.
Kevin grew up in Kloof and was always intent on becoming a DJ, which is something he has been doing since his high school days. He moved to Johannesburg in his early 20s and built a successful career in the entertainment industry before the travel bug bit and he made the decision to move to Australia. With family already in Australia, it was an easy choice to make, even though he initially wanted to move to America.
Life In Australia
After spending a few months in Tasmania (which he describes as “Cape Town in a tumble dryer”), he made the move to Melbourne, as there is just a little more going on there in the entertainment world than sleepy Hobart. He admits he was terrible at keeping his friends and family back in SA updated with his news so he decided one evening to record a video all about his day and upload it to YouTube for them to watch.
The next morning he woke up to over 5000 views and shares and that was his light bulb moment: this was where he wanted to be, performing comedy and combining his passions for entertainment, comedy and dance. “This was one of the only things I hadn’t planned in my life”, he says and from then on he knew where he needed to focus his time and energy.
Facebook became the ultimate platform, and after shunning social media for so long and concentrating on building himself as a brand and DJ in the entertainment industry, he suddenly found himself changing tack and harnessing the power of social media, and I’m sure that’s where most of his fans found him. Kevin says he is inspired by great comedic talents Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy and Kevin Hart, but also his maid Anna, without whom none of this would have become what it is.
His journey hasn’t been an easy one, and he readily admits that migration is not a walk in the park. After coming over initially on a student visa, he is currently in the process of applying for a skilled migration visa, which is a challenge in itself, as I am sure many of you will relate to. “Moving overseas, you will certainly find yourself” he says to me, which is absolutely true. Migration is something that can make or break you, and more often than not, you’ll find yourself wanting to throw in the towel, but at the end of the day you have to just keep swimming.
I asked him what his missed most about South Africa. “Not hadedas. They can just die!” comes his first response. And then, after some thought he rattles off a list: “The distinct smell of Africa, you know like in the Drakensberg. The smell of a braai on a Friday afternoon. The blue sky – Australian skies are just a muted version of blue. The terrain – Australia is just so flat!”.
Kevin’s Ultimate Dinner Party
Next I posed the question, who would you invite to your ultimate dinner party? He took his time over this one and planned one of the most entertaining dinner party line ups ever. “Firstly Anna, so she would help clean up!” (totally tongue in cheek in case you were wondering). His sister Jodie and friend Jason made the list too, followed by Julius Malema (“because he’s just so stupid, I’d like to see what he’d say”), Keketso Semoko who played Agnes in Isidingo who is one of his favourite actresses, comedienne Mo’Nique, Leonardo di Caprio (“because he just won an Oscar”) and finally Donald Trump “so he can pay the bill”.
I was even more excited about the show after meeting him and on Saturday 5 March around 300 people turned up at the Octagon Theatre at UWA for Kevin’s first ever live show.
The show started on time, avoiding any Africa Time delays, and for the next 80 minutes Kevin held his own with the audience.
The show was a mix of stories from his childhood, his migration journey and start in the comedy world, as well as some DJ’ing, dancing and general hilarity. While you could see he was nervous, he overcame them and certainly gave the audience a performance to remember.
He spent some half an hour after the show talking to everyone who had stayed behind to meet him and obliged everyone with photos (including me!).
His next show is going to be in Dubai alongside headliner Marc Lottering so this Kloof boy is definitely going places. There are talks of more shows later in the year across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, so make sure you keep up to date with his social media channels if you want to be next in line to see him live.
Above all, Kevin says “I want to make sure I remain true to myself” and I have no doubt that this will be the case, no matter how big he gets. His aim is to perform huge sell out shows to thousands of people and possibly branch out into TV. So watch this space!
Did you go to the show? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.
*Disclosure: I was gifted tickets to this event but was not financially compensated. All opinions are my own.