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Cape Town - A new pop singing phenomenon in the form of a Cape Town car guard is about to burst on to the scene, thanks to the power of social media.
Alen Abrahams has become an overnight YouTube sensation with 15 000 hits.
“I always knew this day would happen. I had no doubt that someone was going to find me one day and things would change for me,” said Abrahams, 31, of Kalksteenfontein.
His luck began to change a year ago when four men filmed a cellphone clip of him singing along to a Michael Jackson track while he was working at his regular spot at the corner of Dorp and Loop streets.
Abrahams altered the lyrics to “OpiAfrikaans”, which he describes as “advanced Afrikaans”, his signature style of singing.
The group posted the video to YouTube where it was spotted by Aden Thomas, the Heart 104.9FM breakfast show host. Two months ago, Thomas roped in his friend Marlon Kruger to help find Abrahams.
Kruger, who is now Abrahams’s manager, took to social networks to trace “the multi-talented guy who makes up lyrics with a deeper social meaning”.
The search led him to a doctor in Nigeria, a homeless man at the Grand Parade, and eventually to a woman living in Bo-Kaap who had a number for Abrahams’s mother.
On Friday, Abrahams performed on Thomas’s show and had listeners, including producer and composer Gabi le Roux, phoning in wanting to “sign up this guy who had the ability to do an amazingly sharp and witty Cape-Afrikaans parody” of any song.
After Friday’s show Thomas and his team posted five videos of Abrahams on YouTube, which went viral within minutes. The videos, at last count, have had more 15 000 hits.
“The radio show was hilarious and there and then I decided to do a track with this awesome raw talent,” said Le Roux.
“I am currently working with my crew on some music tracks for him. The plan is to launch the tracks on Heart FM, seeing they managed to track him down. I am convinced Abrahams will have everyone in stitches with his debut radio single. It can then be assumed that we will follow with a full album.”
Abrahams’s songs include his adaptation of Justin Bieber’s Baby which he has renamed Meisie.
He said his song was inspired by a pretty woman he met at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.
“My songs are inspired by what is around me, the poverty in my community, and the things people do subconsciously. I enjoy making people laugh,” said Abrahams.
He was already booked to perform at a Valentine’s Day function at GrandWest, said Kruger.
“Parking cars is not cool anymore, I’m moving on,” said Abrahams.