BILLY SUTER with an occasional column in which he chats to popular musicians about their musical likes and dislikes. The spotlight is on Durban singer-keyboardist EVAN CULLUM, who is among the cast of Megastars of Pop, at the Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino, near Umhlanga, until August 4. Evan plays Elton John in the fun show.
Latest news from you?
I am currently on keyboards and appearing as Elton John in the Megastars of Pop show at The Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino. The cast and crew are absolutely brilliant and the high-energy show is very entertaining.
What is your favourite song right now?
You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates.
The last album you bought?
Andrea Bocelli’s Si. I reckon everyone needs an Andrea moment. Much like on On Golden Pond, performed by Dave Grusin, Bocelli has a way of bringing your blood pressure down and putting things back into perspective.
Two favourite songs of all time?
Your Song by Elton John and To Where You Are by Josh Groban.
Three of the finest albums ever?
A Night at the Opera by Queen (Queen was able to produce such a unique and professional sound in 1975). Love Songs by Elton John (one of the first cassette tapes my mom bought for me, featuring songs that will always have a special place in my heart). The Best of Jerry Lee Lewis (Jerry Lee Lewis is insane and this was a great album).
Song you hate the most right now?
There are so many I could mention, but probably 7 Rings by Ariana Grande
Worst song in history?
Las Ketchup’s Asereje (Ketchup Song) is the first one that comes to mind.
Song you most associate with your teens?
Lightning Crashes by Live.
Song you most associate with your early childhood years?
My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small. I listened to the LP it was on over and over and over again when I was about four or five.
The size of your music collection and the artists represented most there?
My music collection has been transferred from CD to an external hard drive. There are too many artists to mention, but all the piano guys are right up there. – Billy Joel, Elton John, Jerry Lee Lewis, Freddie Mercury, Ray Charles and so on.
Favourite radio station and DJ?
I can’t remember when I last listened to the radio. I hook up the Bluetooth from my cellphone to my car radio and listen to my own playlists.
The local artists you most admire?
Johnny Clegg and Claire Johnston.
Artists from abroad that you most admire?
Robbie Williams and Michael Buble.
Most over-rated people in the recording business?
Pet hate about the music scene in South Africa?
Not really a hate, just sad that in Durban (generally) people aren’t out there enjoying live music as much as they used to.
The one music act you would give the world to see perform live?
I would love to watch a capella group Pentatonix live.
Music acts you have seen live and loved?
I watched Robbie Williams in 2006 and I really enjoyed that show.
Best singing star ever?
The greatest musician of all time?
Sir Elton John.
Best band in history?
I could never choose a single band, but the first one that comes to mind is The Rolling Stones.
The styles of music you most enjoy – and least enjoy?
Apart from rap and really heavy heavy metal. I enjoy most musical genres.
The most embarrassing artist represented in your music collection – and why is it there?
A phonics album I did the music for and sang on for Home Based Learning. “A is for Apple” kind of vibe.
The one song that will always be guaranteed to get you on to a dancefloor?
Starlight by The Supermen Lovers.
The musical teaming you would most like to see?
Freddie Mercury, Billy Joel, Elton John and Ray Charles.
Your choice of karaoke song (and why)?
Bohemian Rhapsody. If I am going to be drunk enough to sing karaoke, I may as well make a complete botch up of this Queen song.
The first song you ever performed for an audience?
Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis
Guilty pleasure: a song you really feel you shouldn’t enjoy, but secretly do?
Obladi Oblada by The Beatles.
Worst decade for music?
Hottest-looking music personality?
Instruments you can play?
Piano, guitar, bass and drums.
The song you’d like to be played at your funeral?
Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen.
The song you find the saddest?
Amazing Grace. I have played and sung at many, many funerals and I have performed this song at most of them. I end up crying most of the time, even when I have never met the person who has passed away.
Two dead music icons you’d most like to invite to dinner?
Elvis Presley and George Michael.