Victor Trevino Jr. is the current International Champion for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition awarded by Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) in August 2022. For the first time in its history the Parkes Elvis Festival will have two feature artists: Victor Trevino Jr and Dean Z, both from the US.
Have you ever performed in Australia? I’ve worked and performed for audiences all over Australia for many years in a show called “American Trilogy”. I’m no longer part of that production but I always enjoyed the love of the Australian fan base.
How do you feel about performing at the Parkes Elvis Festival? I’m excited to come and perform. Many of my colleagues have many wonderful things to say about the experience. From the band, the venues, the administration, the festivities, the weather, area and the fans. I heard there is no other Elvis Festival like it.
What can fans expect from your shows? The fans can expect me to give my all in every single performance. Some performances will be the 100% Elvis Tribute. Full hair and costume, dance moves, voice, which is a lot of fun. Obviously I love it….that’s how I make my living. Other shows will be myself performing Elvis songs as me, not as ‘Elvis’, which is a lot of fun too and audiences really appreciate the authenticity and honesty in those types of shows.
I will also be premiering a new show called ‘Elvis reimagined’ performing some of my favourite Elvis songs in my own way. Some have a vintage feel and others have a modern feel. But all of them will be different from Elvis’s arrangements. Very excited to show a different way of sharing the music of Elvis to this audience.
When did you get interested in Elvis’s music? When was the first time you heard it? I always loved older music. Music of rock ‘n roll, blues, rhythm and blues jazz of all arrows. I went through a phase where I loved 80s music and then I got into 70s music and then I got into 60s music in the 50s and that’s when I really got more into Elvis in the mail and dollar quartet. Of course, I really have a huge love for the music that influenced Elvis. Late 40s and early 50s rhythm and blues. Rock ‘n roll before it was rock ‘n roll.
The first time I ever heard Elvis was when I was a kid as my dad played all kinds of music. I grew up in a very musical family. Many of my uncles were mariachis on my father’s side and my grandfather played bass for the legendary BB King many times touring around Texas. I really enjoyed Elvis but it wasn’t until later when I really got into it and discovered what an influence he was. What he did for music and how he crossed the boundaries and brought ‘white’ and ‘black’ music together has really changed the world.
I thought his style was cool, I thought he had a cool swag about him. Great hair, stylish wardrobe, and what a voice! At first, I didn’t know too much about him, but I knew he was different and what he did was important. I only became an Elvis Tribute Artist (ETA) into my 20s. I was already a musician and an actor and I kind of stumbled upon being an ETA. I really began to do more and more research and met fellow fans and colleagues of Elvis himself. It really opened up a new and interesting world.
Do you think the younger generations will keep on listening to him? I do hope so. I feel the Elvis movie is going to help that. I think it’s interesting how in the movie they mix modern music with Elvis‘s music. It is called sampling and it has been happening for many years in hip-hop and rap music. It was done in a way that was very well executed. Times, entertainment and music will always change and evolve, whether we like it or not. So I think it was very smart to mix modern pop sounds with Elvis music in the movie.
Any more thoughts on the Elvis movie? I thought it was great. Was it historically accurate? Absolutely not. But it did have a lot of good information and it was very entertaining. It was shot in the iconic Baz Luhrmann style which made it even more interesting. It has brought a whole new audience and love to Elvis from a younger generation. I’ve heard many people in the Elvis tribute community say that an ETA should’ve played the role. I highly disagree. I think Austin Butler did a great job and it was best that an idol and heartthrob, who already has a big fan base, play the role. Not only to boost ticket sales, also to boost interest in Elvis. Graceland is now doing wonderful and is having more and more visitors thanks to the movie. Baz Luhrmann has always been one of my favourite directors ever since I saw his first film Strictly Ballroom. I love every single one of his movies. When I heard that Baz Luhrmann was reading an Elvis movie.… I knew it was gonna be magic.
Do you have a favourite Elvis song? I cannot pick just one. If I had to pick just one it would probably change every day because I love so many of them. That is what makes his music so unreal and so amazing because everyone in the world can relate to it, no matter where you’re from no matter who you are.