As a finalist on /Pop Idols/, this talented singer has risen from the heart and hardship of Mitchell?s Plain near Cape Town, to become an inspiration to millions, through talent, raw power and sheer determination.
* His achievement as the official runner up broadened his fan base throughout the country, with his public hailing him as ?an idol for all?. With every performance he confirms his star status; fans love his ever-smiling approachability, while his management and clients are even more impressed by the young workhorse?s dedication and professionalism. And then, of course, there?s the voice; no big deal to a young man who grew up in a family full of singers, but irresistible to his audiences, whether he?s belting out a pop classic or crooning a love song.
Born Brandon Steve October on 30th May 1977, he is the oldest and only boy of three children. His schooldays were spent at St Clements Primary and he matriculated from Claremont?s Livingstone High School. Ironically he had no ambition of stardom as a teenager. On leaving school, he spent two years studying graphic design and multi media, where his work won him a /Creative Director?s Forum /bursary. This allowed him to spend two years Cape Town?s Red and Yellow School, studying art direction. In fact, if a work colleague hadn?t entered him in /Idols/, the advertising industry would have swallowed him up whole. Brandon was perfectly happy working in art direction and creative design for Johannesburg?s B&C Group, where he?d been ensconced since 2000. ?I never took being entered seriously,? he says. ?I went along to humour people, and I was totally stunned to get through to the top 100.? */?You have to believe in it and want it enough for it to happen/**.? *Brandon October 2002.** His rising popularity during the series continued to mystify him. ?Singing is something I grew up with?, he shrugs. ?My whole family sings, and I?ve been singing for as long as I can remember ? but only as a hobby or in church. I never dreamt of a career in the entertainment industry, least of all the music industry.? Fortunately, thousands of fans disagree, so the ad world?s loss is the music world?s gain. Since /Idols/ where Brandon?s memorable renditions of ?Escape?, ?Let?s Stay Together? and ?Hurts So Bad? thrilled fans and got the vote lines humming. The young dynamo has been swamped with live performances, competition judging product launches, corporate entertainment, motivational speaking, charity functions and event appearances since appearing on /Idols/. The highlight of 2002 for Brandon, apart from appearing and performing as part of /Idols/ was his performance at the opening ceremony of the /World Summit on Sustainable Development/, at which he sang the summit theme song to all delegates and millions of television viewers around the world. Subsequently, the young dynamo has also performed */The Klein Karoo Big Band Pops Evening, sharing the stage with esteemed South African personalities such as Amanda Strydom, Gloria Bosman, Coenie De Villiers; Koos Kombuis; Nataniel.; Robin Walsch; Juanita Kruger; T.K.; and Sarah Theron, Bianca Le Grange, Lebo (Boom Shaka), Timothy Moloi; Jacques Terreblanche; Anke Pietrangeli; /The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Stellenbosch Philharmonic Orchestra,/* to name but a few. He?s performed for some prestigious corporate events in South Africa, such as Toyota, VW, Shoprite Checkers, ABSA, Old Mutual, Spar, VWV, Miller Breweries, SAB, Avroy Shlain, Netcare, Standard Bank, CSIR, Mosaic Industry of South Africa, Smith Kline Beecham, ABI, Diskom, and many more, often being invited back by each of these companies to perform again. He?s appeared on star studded TV shows such as ?Dis Hoe Dit Is? with Steve Hofmeyer, the ever popular ?Noot vir Noot?, ?Blonde Ambisie met Patricia Lews? as well as many live performances for international guests. He has performed in New Orleans, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and hopes to be performing in London and New York soon. From festivals, to Bahmitzvah?s to Corporate Awards Evenings and launches to more intimate Birthday parties and weddings, this young perfomer has done it all. Blessed with the ability to perform to backing track and as easily with a band or large orchestra, this extremely versatile performer is yet to have a disappointed audience. He recently had his debut international performance in New Orleans where he performed to an audience of 9000 people to much critical acclaim. Where ever he goes he mesmerises audiences with his energetic performances which leave his fans talking about him for weeks after. Brandon?s debut album, released in October, 2003, was nominated for a SAMA 10 award, in the category of Best Pop album in 2004. Although philosophical about his burgeoning popularity and increasingly busy schedule, Brandon is determined to keep making time for strictly non-jet set pursuits. He loves soccer, volleyball, swimming, table tennis, cycling, roller-blading, and ice-skating. He?s also constantly upgrading his culinary skills ? (yes ladies it does get better) ? not only is he a talented singer, but he?s also a wiz in the kitchen, preparing anything from your favourite curry to a mean cheese cake. He relaxes by playing guitar, writing songs or keeping his pool skills up to scratch (Brandon was selected for the under 23 South African pool squad). His self-effacing equanimity when reminded of his achievements is one of his most refreshing qualities, further highlighting the fact that this talent is set to fly. ?I just believe that people can achieve anything they want to, if they put their minds to it,? he smiles in closing. ?You have to believe in it and want it enough for it to happen.? For Brandon the dream is now an everyday reality and with it the opportunity to influence life?s in all things positive, punchy and most importantly perennial. His management is currently engaged in negotiations with Maestro Pavarotti?s management to fulfil Brandon?s life long of singing and performing with the opera superstar