Meet your Sexiest Man 2015: Brendan Peyper


sexiest_man_2015_brendan_winnerUp-and-coming 18-year-old music star Brendan Peyper, is who you voted as the Mambaonline Sexiest Man of the Year 2015 in our survey, brought to you by

This farm boy from the Free State only completed his matric last year. He’s a keen rugby player who was torn between a promising rugby career and chasing his dream of becoming a professional singer – but ultimately chose music. His first Afrikaans single, Stop, wag, bly nog ’n bietjie, is an energetic mix of pop and rock sounds, but with a strong acoustic undertone.

Mambaonline spoke to the young singer with muscled melt-your-heart good looks about winning the Sexiest Man title and his experience of being bullied for being different.

Opening up to us while on holiday at the coast, it became clear that he’s new to being a celebrity; his refreshing openness and humility were charming.

Congratulations! How does it feel to have won the Sexiest Man survey?

It feels… I don’t know how to describe it. I’ve never been nominated for something like this before. It’s a whole new thing for me. I feel very good and appreciate everyone who voted.

Do you see yourself as sexy or as a sex symbol?

I don’t see myself that way at all. I like to exercise and stuff so… But I’m just focusing on music.

Well, we think you’ll have to get used to it. After all, in a lot of your promotional photos and in your music video you’re often shirtless. Are you someone who’s comfortable with their body?

Yes. But I just like to exercise because it’s a lifestyle. I don’t wake up in the morning and go “oh, I have to go gym today to look good.” When I was in matric I played first team rugby and we were exercising hard and practising and it started to be lifestyle for me. Even when I stopped playing rugby I continued exercising and working out.

Have you always been fit?

I was active but I was a little bit skinny until I was 16. Then I really started exercising because the coaches told me that if I wanted to play for the First Team I needed to gain some muscle and be a little bigger.

So rugby was a major part of your life?

Yes. I had to choose between a scholarship and a contract with Sony. I was literally standing with my scholarship in my one hand and music contract in my other hand. I chose my music career because that’s my talent – that’s what God blessed me with. It was an easy decision because, although I have a great passion for rugby, my music is everything for me.

sexiest_man_2015_brendan_winner_02And it seems to be working out for you…

I feel like I’m dreaming. It’s just amazing how God planned my route so that I can be where I am now. I never expected to be famous or anything and I still don’t think I am. It doesn’t feel real.

How well do you know the gay community? Do you have gay friends or family?

Yes I have a lot of gay friends. I see them just as people and part of society. I don’t care if someone is gay or not. If they are nice people then I like to interact with them. Most of my experiences with gay people have been in the music industry. They are very creative – their minds and thoughts and ideas and stuff. That’s why so many gay people are so successful.

How were gay people viewed in your family and community when you were growing up?

I grew up on a farm in Gordon’s Bay and then my dad transferred to Bloemfontein when I was about 13. From when I was little and young I never cared about if someone is gay or straight – they are the same to me. But friends of mine, they didn’t want to know about it.

Why do you think that is?

I think gay people can be quite witty, at least that can be the first impression, and some straight guys are uncomfortable with that.

The rugby field is still seen as quite homophobic. Is that something that you’ve seen yourself?

Ya, I have experienced it. There are very few gays that play rugby and I think it’s because it’s an in-your-face macho sport. If you play professionally you have to maintain that status and make a statement about being all manly.

Being a rugby-playing guy who’s into music… Were you ever bullied?

When I was little and started with music, in primary school, I was bullied a lot. I did part time rugby and part time music and I was the only learner in grade 11 and 12 with music as a subject.

We can imagine that could be difficult…

The guys in the rugby team never gave me a chance and never wanted me in the team. They thought I was gay. I was bullied a lot about my music. But I believe that the best revenge is success. [Laughs]

Having been bullied yourself, what would you say to a young gay guy out there who’s struggling with his sexuality?

I think you need to have self-esteem and confidence. Remember that the Lord made you so. Live fully and be who you are.

Gay people in South Africa still face rejection and discrimination. Do you think celebrities such as yourself can help to change that?

I think so, because people look up to celebrities. They have the ability get people to listen them. I really think they can make a difference.

sexiest_man_2015_brendan_winner_03When you’re not working what do you like to do with your time to relax?

I love to take a break away from the rush and stuff, being with family and friends and chilling. I just took five days off in Margate.

If you had to choose one male celebrity  local or international – that you would consider sexy, who would that be?

I think (Afrikaans singer) Jay du Plessis… I really like his music and stuff.

Tell us something about yourself most people wouldn’t know?

I am an extreme sleepwalker. I like to walk in my sleep and I dream a lot. I usually go to the fridge first. My Jack Russell sleeps with me and when I get up he also gets up and walks around with me. My dad once told me that my eyes are open so I can see where I’m going, even though I’m asleep.

What would you like to say to the fans who voted for you in our Sexiest Man survey this year?

I really appreciate it. I didn’t expect it. Thanks for the support. And please buy the CD! [Laughs]

The 2015 survey was presented by, the groundbreaking campaign targeting gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), bringing sexy back into sexual health. Voters in the poll stood in line to win great prizes, including stylish timepieces from Police, designer underwear from Aphrodisiac and men’s skincare and fragrance from MichaelGamePlan.

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