Next best thing

There’s a man behind the make-up, the blue-black pompadour, the guitar, the smile and the swagger.
That man is Victor Trevino Jr.
The 26-year-old Texas native has been performing as the King of Rock ’n’ Roll since he was 19, but Elvis hasn’t taken over his life. He’s a man full of passions and dreams that start with Elvis, but certainly don’t end there.

Respecting the King
Trevino fell in love, first, with rockabilly music.
“I always wanted a career in music, and I was thinking kind of like ’70s classic rock style. Then I began getting into the ’60s, Beatles, British invasion, The Kinks. Then I kept figuring out who the influences were, and I started getting into rockabilly,” he said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “I loved it. I didn’t realize there was a whole scene for it.”
As a photography major in college, he was spotted by an agent who suggested he use his talents as an Elvis tribute artist. He entered a few contests – like Tupelo’s Ultimate Tribute Artist Contest – and won, and the rest is history.
“I quit my regular job,” he said, “and now I’m able to make a steady career doing this.”
His steady career means performing his favorite style of music, rockabilly, each night. Trevino focuses on Elvis’ early music.
“We’re gonna recreate the wildness and the spontaneity of that brand-new type of music that his generation had created,” Trevino said. “Every generation had a genre of music that the parents hated and the children loved.”
Trevino is very much a fan of the King.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for him,” Trevino said.
Thanks to his natural good looks, turning into Elvis isn’t much of a stretch.
“It’s not a huge transition. When I first started it would take me, like, 45 minutes to an hour. But now, my hair’s ready, so I can get my make-up on in a good 10 minutes. I use theatrical make-up. I put on a little guyliner and I’m ready to go,” he said, laughing.

His own Elvis
There’s certainly no shortage of Elvis tribute artists in the world, but Trevino is his own man in the shoes of a legend.
“Elvis was very true to himself, and I have my own personality on stage as well. I’m not trying to say we’re the same at all, but obviously this is Victor portraying Elvis,” he said. “I don’t have to be 100 percent Elvis.”
He said he can’t wait to return to Tupelo, and he recommends the festival to all music fans.
“It’s beautiful,” he said. “The people who already love Elvis or just like good music would really appreciate this festival.”

Tribute artist-palooza
The Lyric is home to the Tupelo Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Preliminary contest as well as concerts featuring past winners.
- Brandon Bennett, Sonny Burgess & the Pacers with DJ Fontana – 7:30 p.m. June 2

- Tupelo Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Preliminary Contest – Round One – 9 a.m. June 3

- Victor Trevino Jr., Bill Cherry – 7:30 p.m. June 3

- Tupelo Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Preliminary Contest, finals, and Kevin Mills – 1 p.m. June 4

The Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival also includes concerts at Fairpark, a Sunday gospel concert at First United Methodist Church, a 5K, parade and more. For ticket prices and other information, visit tupeloelvisfestival.com.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal