Who IS ‘Epic Sax Guy’?
We’re interrupting our run-down of the Greatest Saxophonists temporarily to talk about the man behind ‘Epic Sax Guy’, which is one of the most searched for phrases on Google, with 24000 a month, and even the long phrase ‘Epic Sax Guy Alto Saxophone Sheet Music’ gets 90 searches a month in the USA.
There is actually a man behind the monicker. ‘Epic Sax Guy’ is Russian-born Moldovan musician Sergey Igorevich Stepanov who is half of the SunStroke Project trio/duo. They achieved fame by representing Moldova with singer Olia Tira in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. Their song Run Away came 22nd in the final, but it was Stepanov’s sax solo that was a real runaway success. Ironically he had to mime it on the night because Eurovision rules don’t allow live instruments to be played! The sax solo and his dance moves became an internet meme and inspired many tributes and remixes, even the online game ‘Fortnite’ copied his style, and his performance was immortalised in the Eurovision Book of Records.
Then in 2017, Sunstroke Project returned to Eurovision and their song Hey Mamma! came 3rd place. Everyone noted the return of the ‘Epic Sax Guy’ – some even promoting him to ‘Ultra Sax Guy’.
You too can play Epic Sax…
Run Away, the song that made the meme, is an 8-bar minor loop in a dance style on alto sax. Epic Sax Guy adds a growling sound to his tone by using his larynx to vibrate the sound.
The sequence is ideal for improvising using the pentatonic and blues scales. I’ve extended the tutorial into a full five lesson course in the Newbury Sax School Members Area, which shows you how to improvise over the sequence..