Rhys Tolhurst Sets Melbourne Nightlife in Full Swing

Rachel Chipp

Since Rhys Tolhurst first discovered big band aged 15, he has been greatly inspired by classic swing artists from the past, predominantly Frank Sinatra. Back when he reached the final showdown on Australia’s Got Talent in 2012, aged 17, his big band and swing influences were clear as there was a strong tone of Michael Bublé to his voice.

His musical style and musicianship have since evolved to be influenced by contemporary artists such as John Mayer. John Mayer actually first came to Rhys’ attention when Rhys saw him singing Frank Sinatra’s ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ on The David Letterman Show. Transfixed, Rhys strongly identified with a young male artist who was also influenced by Frank Sinatra, and he feels that John Mayer has spoken to his soul ever since. This musical awakening took Rhys down a different path, gaining new inspirations to add to his repertoire, including John Legend and Niall Horan.

In the years since, he has really come into his own. He is now a singer-songwriter who enjoys putting his own beautifully melodic twist on cover versions.

While this home video of Rhys singing Andy Grammer’s ‘Fresh Eyes’ was recorded on a whim, his performance is so polished and professional that it could just as easily be mistaken for a music video. He adds his own melodious touch to the song to make it sound even sweeter and more beautiful than the original.

Putting his own definitive stamp on each performance, Rhys twists the arrangements of each original song and adds his mellifluous voice to make them sound new and improved.

An old soul with a fresh style, Rhys’ rich combination of musical influences are demonstrated by the fact that he can easily turn his hand to jazz, swing and contemporary acoustic and uptempo, so you can choose a mixture of timeless and modern classics.

His jazz and swing repertoire includes standards such as ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, ’It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing’), ‘Mack the Knife’ and even the song he performed on his very first Australia’s Got Talent audition, ‘All Of Me’. His voice and performing style have both matured so much since that first audition that it is now even more exciting to watch him amaze Melbourne crowds than when he wowed Australia the first time.

Click here to book Rhys Tolhurst for your Melbourne-based bar or restaurant.


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