The Tomato

Uncle Kevin
Illustration: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
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Uncle Kevin’s hits are streamable on Soundcloud

The University of Ottawa’s virtual ‘Welcome Week’ marked a new beginning for thousands of students as they look forward to the first-ever virtual semester.

Cementing the end of the festivities is the well-known ‘uOShow’, featuring performances by both local and national artists. This year’s line-up featured impressive artists like “A Tribe Called Red” and Roy Woods. 

Unfortunately, when students logged on to enjoy a concert from the comfort of their homes, they were met with an unrecognizable face.

Uncle Kevin.

“He’s been learning how to DJ while in quarantine and even played for Granny’s ninetieth birthday. And funeral,” said Yvette Dime, the University of Ottawa culture representative and niece of the performer. “He’s also able to perform a number of touching covers on his acoustic guitar; he’s a very versatile artist.” 

In the newly created role, the culture representatives’ job is to engage students with university life and social events online. Dime said that because of other obligations, she forgot to find a big-name closer for the concert.

“Uncle Kevin’s Soundcloud has blown up in the last month. His remix of ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ and cover of ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ got about 10,000 streams.”

Of all of the performers, Uncle Kevin was definitely the most energetic. Though initially quiet, the Facebook Live chat was constantly flooded with supportive messages.

“At first I thought the organizers were cheaping out on us,” said first-year student Lola Popowski. “But as soon as he played that mash-up of ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ I was mesmerized.”

“His cover of Wonderwall was amazing to end the show,” said Di Daniels, a first-year student at the Telfer School of Management.

Dime is very proud of her uncle and has already confirmed him for another performance sometime in the future.

You can follow Uncle Kevin on Instagram and Twitter @justyourunclekev and subscribe to his YouTube channel “Dime a Dozen Beats”