Arts, Culture & Media

It's not every day that a 10-year-old blind boy from Quebec sings the blues

Do you recognize the tune in that YouTube video? It's a song called "Every Day I Have The Blues,"  made famous by blues legend B.B. King. Now Félix, a 10-year-old boy from Quebec, is giving the song another boost.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

Félix, who is totally blind, belted out his performance while hanging out in pajamas at at his summer camp last week. The camp is run by the Quebec Foundation for the Blind, and the group's Sarah Rouleau says music has given Félix a rare outlet.

"He doesn't speak a lot, he has difficulty to interact with others," Rouleau says. "One day he started to make rhythm, he started to make drumming rhythms, and another day he just started to sing a song completely. So we were really surprised because he's someone who doesn't speak a lot, but he expresses himself through music."

Félix got his start at 6 years old, when he got his first guitar. Rouleau says he taught himself how to play by listening to the radio and was soon shocking his parents with his talent. "One day his mother heard him playing the blues and she thought it was the radio," Rouleau says. "But she discovered that it was Félix. So she was really surprised because blues is not the favorite music of young boys, usually."

Félix has taken to bringing his guitar to camp and singing around the fire, where counselors have started taking impromptu videos. Rouleau wants people to know that Félix is the real deal: "Félix plays often in our day camp and I personally saw him play guitar and sing, so no, it's not fake. I personally filmed him so I saw him with my eyes a lot of times."

The YouTube video has now been watched about 35,000 times and shared on Facebook thousands of times. Félix was even invited to play at a blues festival in Montreal. He says he loves blues artists Robert Johnson, Stromae and Bernard Adamus

And he doesn't have a problem being famous, he says. Rouleau remembers that when she and another counselor paid a visit to Félix's home to tell him about all of his Internet fans, he was excited. "His reaction was really cute," she says, "He said 'Tabarouette!'" Oh yeah good, wow!

Sarah says Félix's success may be rubbing off on other blind children at the camp. She thinks his songs encourage other children to have a little more confidence in their own talents. As Félix might say: That's really good. Wow!

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