The Art of Busking
The streets are their stage and the shoppers are their audience, busking is the key to amplifying any bustling city centre and the perfect opportunity to develop the careers of talented musicians.
The one thing that binds buskers together is their pure love for music, which ensures that there is a huge variety of street performers showcasing their expertise.
It is the perfect opportunity to gain invaluable experience for those bidding to transform their performance space from the streets to the main stages at festivals.
Where this is epitomised by artists such as Ed Sheeran, Passenger and Rod Stewart, who all started their illustrious careers on the streets.
At GigPig we ensure that our artists are always paid what they deserve with no commission for doing what they truly love to do.
The control is in the hands of the artists to play across some of the best venues in their cities, making getting the gigs incredibly easy and hassle-free.
This guarantees that our artists have got complete rein to make the magic happen.
Busking is the backbone of the industry and there are so many great stories which mould our music scene into the way it is today.
But busking is more than just trotting out a few tunes to passers-by in your town centre or subway. It is the cornerstone of the live music scene which has the potential to welcome raw talents into the industry.
The cream always rises to the top has never rung so true in this profession.
But it can go both ways, the humbling experience of artists falling back onto busking can give their fans the chance to see them perform for free; Sam Ryder, Paul McCartney and Lewis Capaldi have all taken the step onto the pavements to grace unsuspecting passers-by in recent years.
Now the use of social media makes a music career even more viable for artists, with the potential to reach a worldwide audience with a single viral video.
While this won't be replacing the beauty of live street performances, it works perfectly in tandem to gain more traction and become a more powerful tool than their performing equipment.
Despite the complaints surrounding the noise and taking up too much space, or complying with the rigid code of conduct from local councils, it doesn’t put off those who want to share their passion and the hard work which goes into capturing the perfect performance.
While each musician has hugely different backstories, their ultimate goals are the same - making their true passion a viable career.
We spoke to 15-year-old Mancunian singer-songwriter Alex Spence, who is thoroughly enjoying the music he brings to his audience.
His hard work busking has opened some incredible doors for him to display his talents.
Nobody knows better than him the power of social media, where his song covers have blown up gaining praise and recognition from music titans Liam Gallagher, Courteeners and Aitch, which subsequently sent his following soaring.
Busking from the age of 12, Alex said: “Some days are busier than others, I try to get people with a smile on their face, and when they know the song and there is a big group of people singing along, that's the best feeling, the atmosphere of busking.
“The highs are seeing people enjoy the music and the best thing is going into town, playing a song that people recognise.
“It’s nice when people record and talk to me, I just enjoy spreading my music out.
Now the teenage sensation has two singles under his belt, including his most recent single The Morning Times gaining massive coverage across BBC Introducing and Radio X, while also earning the Number 1 spot on iTunes.
Alex describes how performing on the streets has benefited him: “After busking for the last four years, I have learned and I am still learning how to speak to the crowds.
“Busking is like a rehearsal and I have learnt so much from it, and it is really helping me with confidence and experience.
“I can gain a lot from busking it is a really good thing to do.”
Following his quick rise to success at such a young age, Alex talks about the pressures he has experienced: “Even if it’s performing in front of ten people there is always pressure, but the pressure is a good thing because there is pressure in every aspect of the music scene.
Alex has been saving the money he earns from performing to ensure he keeps bringing out new original content, which is expected within the next year.
We’re quietly confident it’s going to be money very well spent.