Listen: All singing Robert Bolton wants to save lives


When singer and songwriter Robert Bolton isn’t behind the piano writing music, he’s currently training as a paramedic and learning how to navigate emergency and accident scenes.

These two fields may be worlds apart, but the singer states it unequivocally: being a paramedic is his passion and music is his dream.

“If I could make a living just making music, I would do it in a heartbeat. However, there would always be a part of me that wanted to live out my passion for people and to help them.”

Robert (24), who made the top five in the singing competition The Contract 2 made it, tells in RNews’s studio that he is a “terribly busy man and an eternal optimist”.

“I grew up on Vredendal in Namaqualand, where we always had a piano in the house that was played by my mother. I decided as a little boy that I also wanted to learn to play the instrument and I fell more in love with music.”

When he was ten years old, his family moved to Stellenbosch. “It’s a culturally rich town, so it was easy for me to take my passion for music further and develop my skill with music that way.”

He admits that music has also become an outlet for the emotions and stress he experiences in his work as a paramedic.

“The first time my instinct to save someone kicked in, I was 12 years old. We were at Tieties Bay and a child ran hysterically down a dune and said his partner was dead. They dug a hole in the dune which gave way on them and trapped the boy,” says Robert.

“I acted on pure instinct and started digging for the boy and applied mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He survived it and there I knew I had a good one gut feeling for this type of stuff and that I should move in that direction.”

The fall of Ikaros in Greek mythology metaphorically inspires Robert’s new, alternative single titled “Fly too close to the sun”.

Robert, Fred ten Hartog and Hunter Kennedy, known as songwriters and singers for Fokofpolisiekar and Die Heuwels Fantasties, among others, wrote “Fly too close to the sun” together.

According to Greek mythology, Ikaros was given wings made of feathers after he was very unhappy with his father. This gift was everything to him – so much so that he couldn’t believe how free and happy he was.

He only focused on what he had and did not listen to what was important. However, he flew too close to the sun and the wax that held his wings together melted and caused him to fall back to earth.

“In my previous relationship, I couldn’t believe how happy I was. I spent so much time on how happy the relationship made me, that I put the important aspects of my life second. It meant I neglected myself in the process and I just focused on the relationship,” Robert explains the message of the song.

He is proud of what he has achieved so far in the music industry. “Last year I performed with Gian Groen, Coenie de Villiers, Tarryn Lamb and Koos Kombuis at the Oude Libertas Theater in Stellenbosch. There was a six meter long Steinway grand piano. It was absolutely incredible.”

“Fly too close to the sun” is available on all major digital platforms.

  • Listen to the full studio interview with Robert Bolton at the top of the report.