Good Day fellow Beardsmen , Beard Bearers and Beardettes!
We here at The Black Hat Beard Co. is excited to announce and introduce a fellow Hatter and Musician. Not only does he have a beard or uses Black Hat products, but he is talented in the art of music. With a few originals in his arsenal along with unique and perfectly styled covers, Johnny Camel, is the next best thing. Since we first started our journey with Johnny Camel, I , Beard Bearer, have been looping and dissecting as much of his music as I can. I stumbled on some tracks that now repeats in my ears as I write this post, not because I had to, but truly thanks to it being bad ass, great and different.
For me to come here and tell you all about this great artist is not my purpose or task, that he will do himself. All I need to do is give you a small taste of what is to come regarding The Black Hat and Johnny Camel. Not only is he a user of our products, but he is the official Black-Hatter of the Western Cape. What does that mean? If you hear, see, find a sample of our products somewhere in your life and you live in the Western Cape, do not fear, all you need to do is contact Johnny Camel and he will hook you up.
First you will make a phone call and in return hear a voice deep enough to create craters and make you feel like you arrived at the manliest of beard companies out there, fear not, his music is even better. Place the order with him and wait… Plus it is accompanied by some great guitar and loops. Now need I say more, the man is unique, and I tested him for it. One morning during my mind scrambles I thought, let us give him a small test, let us see if he really is the great man and superb musician we see on all his channels. I dialed him up, waited for the thunder to reply and cheeky as I am requested my own cover. Not only did I choose a favorite of mine, but I chose something totally out of his style of music or what he usually does. Less than 48 hours later I receive a text, “Your cover is uploading!” , yes I thought the exact same thing. Fast, way fast! I opened the laptop screen, slid the browser over to YouTube and low and behold there it is.
Now if you watched that like a good Bearer should, you would feel the same. Not only is it different from the original but he made it his own and aced it. I was pleased with the result and listened to the song over and over again for the next couple of days. Up to the point to where I said, I want an interview with this man. And here we are, the moment I have been waiting for and hopefully you too. The questions are simple and plain, but like we know Johnny Camel, he made the questions his own and developed it into something big and great, for artist reasons and purposes I will keep his replies just as he typed them.
Interview Questions with the one and only Western Cape Black-Hatter , Johnny Camel :
Firstly in your own words in a short paragraph tell our readers who Johnny Camel is and what about yourself makes you the way you are.
“ Johnny Camel… well, firstly Johnny Camel is my stage name. People often ask me why I use a stage name, so let me give you the back drop. I started playing guitar at the age of 10. I immediately started joining my teachers, in primary school, playing in the praise and worship band. Playing in a band straight away taught me a lot about the mechanics of music. Having no professional training in what I do, I rely on my ear-for-music. Playing in various gospel-, garage-, school and one or two gigging bands along the way definitely played a great part in developing this.
So why Johnny Camel? Coming to Stellenbosch University in 2008 to study BRek, put me in a challenging position. Between social, Res, academic and sport commitments I no longer had the time to commit to band practices. This lead to me playing alone mostly. In my final year of accounting I decided I had to start supporting myself financially and the easiest way of doing this was by making music.
I started booking quite a few gigs and realised the little 10 year old boy’s dream of being a professional musician could realise. However, I couldn’t afford to over-indulge in music as my studies would suffer immensely.
Johnny Camel became a manageable identity on its own, so as not to over indulge while still studying. “
“ After finishing my BRek degree I made the decision to study further, and currently I am a final year Engineering student at Stellenbosch University. “
” This long story plays a great part in who and what Johnny Camel is. Along the way I grew as a musician and my, to some extent double life, started becoming one. Musically I am now a singer songwriter. I am a loop artist, armed with an acoustic 6 string and some other toys. To describe my music, I would use the term acoustic alternative rock… mainly because my voice has an element of one of the big cats in Africa that has been made wet and is not very happy about it. Other people call it smoky, raspy and whiskey infused. “
Looking back at your life as a musician or artist, what made you grow a beard? Was it just curiosity or something specific?
” Growing a beard has been a journey on its own. There is a definite life decision that strongly connects to my decision. At the end of the day it takes commitment, drive and a whole lot of patience to grow a beard. Commitment was the big factor in this. I committed myself to making some serious changes in my life during 2015. Just before starting my academic year I committed growing a beard as a constant reminder of what I want to achieve this year. I find it hard to put in words what a difference these 3months has had. As the beard grows and starts to show its own life, so I grow personally. I am constantly reminded of this journey and growing my beard gives me a sense of self fulfillment that is near impossible to describe. “
Having a beard yourself, is there anything about the beard growing process that made you feel like giving up, grabbing the razor and shave it off?
” YES! Ah… I think it is the same if you ever wanted to grow your hair out. There is a stage it looks absolutely shaggy. Messy. Push through, because they pay-off is well worth it. At the same time, having some symbolic connotation to my beard, the struggle has , and excuse me for this, really “been real”.
From the shaggy stage, to itchiness, to personal battles… it’s been a journey, and we aren’t even near the end! Currently though, my beard looks and feels great. I would not for a second entertain the thought of picking up my, by now, dusty razor for a shave. “
Your music, is it driven by something in your life, or are you still feeling things out and trying to find good motivation for writing music?
” Most men can relate when I say I find it difficult to word my emotions at times. Even the times I find the words, I find it near impossible to really work through it. We all have our vices of dealing with it. Some of us indulge in fitness, other food, some grab a bottle, other write, some can draw… at the end of the day, we men do something with our hands while we think or try not to.
Playing music since I was a young boy, my guitars became my vice. If I find myself angry I play, frustrated I play, happy or sad… I play. When I pick up my guitar, life simplifies and I disappear into my own world for a while. “
” Thus, to answer you, life is my inspiration and music my vice. “
Would you say having a beard had a impact on your life, made something about you or your fan-base change?
” Growing a beard has definitely had an immense impact on my life. Let’s put aside the connotation I have to growing a beard for a second.
Growing a beard and what you need to know:
Most guys respect the fact that you dedicate yourself to this. Some guys try to put you down, ignore it, the beard speaks for itself in this case.
Women tend to have mixed responses as well. Some see it as a fashion accessory, some evidently think your face is a puppy and sees the beard as something to be petted. There definitely are some who are totally put off by a beard, same rule applies here, the beard needs no defending.
Mostly though, from my experience, woman likes the beard. “
” As people tend to judge a man by the type of shoes or watch he wears, so they do with those of us growing facial hair. Thus, as with any form of judgement… judge me as you wish. It speaks more of your character than mine. “
” Lastly, no, I don’t think my beard has changed my fan base. I have grown as an individual as my beard grew and I wouldn’t change this for a second. “
When you were waiting for your first products from Black Hat Beard Co., did they meet your expectations?
” Crossing paths with Black Hat has been a truly great experience. I am proud to announce on this forum for the first time, that I am officially a Black Hat Brand Ambassador and a Western Cape rep for the company. In other words, if you are in the Western Cape and need to get your hands on their superior product range, feel free to contact me 😉 “
” My dealings with Black Hat started as a shared passion for music and beards. My beard was trembling in anticipation. Up until then I used normal shampoo and conditioner on my beard. It worked to some extent but my beard always had a normal facial hair feel to it. (Stiff and hard)
I’ve been using the Black Hat range for almost two weeks and wow! The look, feel and smell of my beard have honestly changed for the better. No more itchiness, soft, fresh, a well groomed appearance AND my skin looks great. I liked the product so much, after using, I came forward to negotiate myself into the position to get the products in WC and be an ambassador for Black Hat.“
” Expectations exceeded. Definitely. ”
What is next for Johnny Camel and his beard? Will we see more original work?
” There is defiantly more original work on the way. My big dream is to get studio time and some backing to be able to release an album. Currently though, finishing up my engineering degree is my main focus. Next year big things are on the cards for my music. “
” For now, expect regular, signature Johnny Camel styled, covers on my social media platforms of songs you can sing along with. “
Sure that most people do, but do you have a beard habit you know of? Pulling on it, stroking too much etc etc?
” Haha… I find myself feeling ten years older every time I catch myself doing the following. When thinking I tend to with my thumb and forefinger trace along my mustache down to my beard repeatedly. It is a great stress relief to be honest. “
” Also, on the motorbike it has become a habit to were a Buff around my face and neck, guarding the beard from “helmet hair”, yet I pull the ends of my mustache out of the buff. Thinking about it I probably look like a “spiedkop” gone bad/evil. ”
Is the beard here to stay, will you encourage other men to grow a beard? If yes, why?
” The beard is definitely staying until I am holding my engineering degree in one hand and accounting in the other. At the moment though, I can’t imagine shaving it off afterwards. ”
” Why? In three short months my beard has been the symbolic embodiment of my personal journey and I love this. It is a constant visual reminder of what I am working towards. I can see myself setting new milestones after these are achieved and continue growing. “
” To paraphrase Jungle Book: “It’s a beard necessity, a simple beard necessity, to forget about the worries in your life” “
Now to near the end of my post, I am sure you feel the same as we do here at The Black Hat Beard Co.! We look forward to the future with this great talented musician and what is to come. He is on our website and on our social media, but he also sports his own. Look for the links at the end of the post. If you see that beard on the bike, wave, stop, shout or do whatever you can to get his attention. Allow him to play you a song then sell you a Beard Oil or Balm. Join me Beard Bearer and Johnny Camel in changing the mindset towards beards. Let us make the people see, beards are here to stay, and with a bit of good music, some extra time grooming and good products allow the men of our world to look their Beardest!
As I leave you to indulge on the sound of Johnny Camel, I would like to thank him personally for all the time and effort he has put into The Black Hat Beard Co. for the future is on its way. If you want to see more of him or just listen to his music while you work, study, eat, sleep or whatever your kick will be follow him at the following spots.
Thanks for reading the post and the interview, we here at The black Hat Beard Co. will see you soon.
Please make sure to follow me , Beard Bearer , on my social media for upcoming deals and great things incoming. We will be launching a YouTube channel and a great competition so make sure you follow my every move!
Other than that I have no more! Watch this blog every week for more things regarding Beards and Grooming and Whiskey!
Beard Bearer singing out, Keep Grooming!