Robert Thiessen, right, and his brother-in-law Joe Kaonga perform in a parody music video of Toto’s ‘Africa’ that’s gotten more than 30,000 views since Thiessen posted it on Facebook in December. (Facebook)

Robert Thiessen, right, and his brother-in-law Joe Kaonga perform in a parody music video of Toto’s ‘Africa’ that’s gotten more than 30,000 views since Thiessen posted it on Facebook in December. (Facebook)

Musician pays homage to Canadian winter through parody

What do Canadians do when it’s cold outside? They write songs about it.

On a sub-zero day in Manitoba, Robert Thiessen, an occupational therapist and part-time musician with the Oak Lake-based Country band, Prairie Joe, decided to pass the time by writing and recording a song.

“This cold snap has been just ridiculous, and I had been trying to learn the song ‘Africa’ [by Toto], so it was stuck in my head,” Thiessen explained in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.

“I was looking out the window at the bitter cold, and kind of feeling miserable and the words just popped into me head. I sang the first line and my wife looked over at me and said, you’ve got to get this song down.”

The result, ‘I Froze my Brain Up in Canada’ a parody music video set to the tune of Toto’s 1982 classic “Africa,” has garnered more than 70,000 views on YouTube and 370,000 Facebook views since Thiessen posted it at 3 a.m. Dec.30.

Joined by his brother-in-law, Joe Kaonga, who backed Thiessen on drums fashioned from a Tim Horton’s cup and his sister, Jody, a professional photographer and videographer, the trio recorded and edited the video that day, and the rest, “as they say,” is history.

Since the video went viral Thiessen he’s enjoyed watching it make people happy.

“I’m enjoying doing what what I can to keep people cheered up,” he added.

WATCH:

Manitoba musician pays homage to Canada’s bone-numbing winter

Courtesy of Robert Thiessen/Facebook

Videography by Jody Kaonga (J. Evangeline Photography)

Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

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