Stories where musicians that emerge from darkness to fame seem to be rare these days - to the point where most people think that breaking through in the music industry is an impossible mission. But, what if we told you that we have some real success stories ?
Street performance, one way to conquer hearts of thousands
Street performance - also called busking in New York - means any theatrical, musical, visual, or other presentation for entertainment purposes on the public way. "Street performer" means any person or group of persons who conducts a street performance. (law insider)
And now, you might ask : “Why perform in the street rather than on a stage?”
Ever since COVID-19 stole a life, people have wanted to live theirs to the fullest.
They go out more, pay more attention to the people they meet on the street, spend minutes rather than seconds admiring the landscape in front of them, and spend more time with their loved ones, sharing their latest endeavours - like discovering a brand new artist.
Why should you start street performing ?
When street performing, you and only are responsible for the image you convey. This set can help you reach new fans and new audiences through a valuable and authentic performance as an emerging artist.
Building your self-confidence
Everyone has a bit of shyness inside. Street performing isn’t as pressuring as performing on a real stage with thousands of people who've bought their ticket but still, you never want to disappoint people. However, note that the people who will stop by to watch just want to spend a good moment not judge you so trust yourself and get more confident each day!
Outdoors are here to make you shine
The difference between performing on stage and outdoors is the set. Outdoors, there’s no superficial decorations that superficially make everything beautiful in order to hide what’s ugly - only you matter and only you can shine. This is a great way to display your talent first and to make yourself known for that only - which is what matters the most and is what is going to make you successful in the long-term.
Get offered gigs
Whether you’re performing in a small town or in a big city, street performing is an efficient way to get noticed. Indeed, in this way, it’s easier to get offered gigs rather than having to ask for them - because you’re already displaying your talent, you’ve already passed the audition phase making it easier for you to convince someone to recruit you for a gig performance at their places (restaurants, cafés, bars or even theaters).
Street performing is a way for you to truly emerge by creating a direct connection with not only your audience but also with people who didn’t know that they needed to hear your music.
The Street has its place on the Internet
Technology has permitted humans to relive a moment as many times as they wish.
One of the limits of street performance is that if you don’t come across someone, you might not get the recognition you deserve. So grab your phone camera, record yourself playing in the streets, also film people that are watching you at this moment and post it on Reddit, Youtube, Tik Tok, Instagram… And note that if you forget to film your performance, someone might do it for you instead !
Too Many Zooz, a local street performing band that rose to fame
Do you remember the advice written above? Ironically, this New Yorker band followed them before we even thought of publishing this article - and that’s why success stories are so important.
From Manhattan School of Music to New York City Subways
Their story first started when Leo Pellegrino (baritone saxophone) and Matt “Doe” Muirhead (trumpet) met while both studying at the Manhattan School of Music. At the same time, Leo Pellegrino and another then-future member of the band, David Park (drums) were part of Drumadics, a local busking band. And this is where this amazing story starts…
From one duo to another was born a trio - the three of them finally teaming up together in mid-2013. In August of the same year, they started to perform at various New York City subway stations “in their self-defined genre – brass house”.
One video recorded by a passerby changed their lives
In March 2014, a passerby recorded one of their performances at the Union Square station and the video went viral, accumulating a total of 9.1 million views today. (watch video below)
This video also helped popularize the music genre of Brass-House with Too Many Zooz described as “a mix of jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms, funk, EDM and house music”.
Here’s our selection of the best comments :
“ Trumpet guy is absolutely f*cking murdering it, savage as hell - I wonder how many people lost their jobs because they were late to work because of this banger “ Holy Sol
“ I am so impressed that someone was able to take their public school concert band experience and actually become a real rock star without ditching the brass for a guitar. “ Patrick Lynch
“ drummer = living metronome.
trumpet = can play a note no one has ever head before.
sax = has been playing for eons and it shows “ Matthew Welch
Nowadays, Too Many Zooz is still active and very successful with 6 EPs, a national tour and many songs of their album “Warriors” featured in commercials for brands such as Google, KFC and even for Netflix original movie The Package.
If you street perform too - no specific basis required - feel free to share your experience with us in the comments or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish to highlight more artists in our next articles and give you a boost to your career !