Epic Sax Guy: He’s Baaaack

Epic Sax Guy, Sunstroke Project, Eurovision 2010

Epic Sax Guy in 2010 Source: YouTube

Seven years ago a six note sax riff by a Eurovision contestant nearly broke the Internet. Moldova’s Sunstroke Project introduced the world to a then-unknown alto player—who still remains largely nameless to the world at large, except by the nickname: Epic Sax Guy.

Epic Sax Guy has been subject of a great many YouTube video compilations, tributes, and redux. There was of course also the now-famous 10-hour version of his solo riff.  I have to ask myself though: How stoned do you have to be to listen to 10 hours of this riff ❓ ❓

Now in case any of you forgot what this riff sounded like, here is the earworm again…

Although the Sunstroke Project didn’t win Eurovision 2010, they did compete in the finals, and placed 21st. This year the group is back, but on a much smaller scale, and IMHO, with much less going for them. Yes, they kept their instrumentation of vocals, violin and alto sax, but they also lost their female guest singer, larger background instrumentation, as well as their dancers.

The song pattern is also not what one would expect. In the words of 1990s Swedish super group Roxette: Don’t bore us, get to the chorus!

Oh, but wait, there is no chorus. There is however, a Sunstroke Project now-infamous saxophone riff, but even that is no earworm. I have listened to their song multiple times, and as soon at is was over, I can’t remember it, or the sax riff. Now having listened to it a grand total of about 10 times, I still don’t remember it—and I love Europop. I grew up on this stuff!

My prediction for Eurovision 2017? Despite qualifying for the final, Epic Sax Guy will not help Sunstroke Project win Eurovision this year. What do you folks think? Does anyone here want to admit to voting, or even watching?

© 2017, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.


  1. Perhaps others also thought along the same lines as you Paul, since Portugal won Eurovision 2017. As far as Epicsaxguy & Sunstroke Project goes, they came in a respectable third place. For the finale they did fill out the stage a bit more again… With singing & dancing back-up brides…

    However, the sax riff is still not an earworm IMO. I can’t remember this year’s riff, but I do have the one from 2010 running through my head ATM… UGH!!

  2. I would just like to say why I haven’t paid much attention these last few years. When “Celebrate Diversity” means almost every finalist is singing North American slang, you can forgive me for losing interest. If more were like the entry from Portugal (Salvador Sobral: Amar pelos dos) or like Artsvik’s voice (uncannily like Annie Lennox) I might stick around.

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