At the age of seven, the son of a tailor and housewife sang from door-todoor with children of his generation on Christmas. Six years after, he was coach of dancers of his club, and music interpreter at the same time. His mimicking of one of Elvis Presley’s hit songs landed him the nickname “Elvis” in replacement of “Pierre” (real Christian name) that is attached to Kemayo on his birth certificate. Ahead of his journey to France, his uncle mocked at him saying it was better to be a singer than a thief.
But Elvis Kemayo remained steadfast and believed in his childhood dream. No surprise, therefore, that the love musician has, over the years, used his 300 songs from 40 albums released in 40 years of practice to enliven fans across the globe. “Many people have gotten married because of my songs. Couples who fell apart reconciled. I remember a man thanked me for bringing back his wife who had eloped for six months,” Elvis Kemayo, 69, told Nyanga magazine recently.
“I invited her for a meal and when I played “Te revoir,” tears ran down her cheeks, love was reignited and we returned home together,” said the man to the musician. It is a blessing, Elvis Kemayo admits, to make people happy. The determination of fructifying his dream made the artist (musician, TV presenter and producer) to tour the world and bag recognitions such as “Best African Singer Award” by American Senators.
That same virus of determination has pricked three of his children. His first son is a rapper and two of his daughters are into gospel music. To the younger generation, he remarks that hard work and determination are secrets to dreams come true.