Swakopmund-It’s not every day that a visit to the local shopping mall turns into a live cultural experience, with a classical street act performed by a 15-year-old violinist stopping everyone in their tracks. Donna Collins cornered the lad in Swakopmund for a chat.
Oliver Kittel from Swakopmund is a young rising star that can play anything on his crafted little wooden piece.
His repertoire ranges from Vivaldi, to contemporary and even some rock tunes that he has skilfully mastered on one of the most challenging instruments out there.
And whilst the classics are his core, he says he likes showcasing a variety of genres on the violin while adding a modern flavour to his playing style which is gaining new ground.
One of his biggest inspirations, he says, is David Garret the award winning German violinist who burst onto the scene with a crossover of classical and pop/rock which has taken the world by storm.
By ‘busking’ in arcades to earn some pocket money, Oliver is not shy to whip out his violin and strike up a chord in the most unlikely of places, sharing his refreshing talent and love for music with all those who care to throw some coins into his open case.
This quietly spoken and inspiring young fellow says he started on the violin at the age of only seven years, after watching a movie about a young boy who played the instrument.
Since then he has been hooked on it, dedicating many hours to perfecting his musical skills and the variety of pieces he plays.
To complement the practical side of music, Oliver is also studying music theory through the University of South Africa (UNISA), and this year he will complete his Level 5 certificate, doing all this in between his school work and some skateboarding fun with his friends.
But it’s mostly during school holidays that you will come across Oliver ‘busking’ in town, using this public platform as good practise to build himself up for bigger things to come.
Oliver’s musical journey so far has included playing Open Mic gigs at the Desert Tavern with his brother, Tommy, as well as performing smaller concerts with the local ‘Strings Attached Orchestra’.
A highlight yet to come is a performance that has been lined up at the Omaruru Artist Trail, on September 22.
In fact, it is little wonder that Oliver is so filled with musical passion, because he has grown up surrounded by a family filled with musical talent.
His one brother plays the sax and guitar, the second brother and his mother play the piano, whilst his dad plays the double bass.
On most Sundays you can find this musical family group performing worship music at the Swakopmund Baptist Church.
Oliver meanwhile plans to continue playing the violin and aims to turn his music into a career.
Driven by the hope of performing on a big international stage one day, this talented young Swakopmund boy has committed himself to taking his music to every level possible to fulfil his dream.