I get asked about why we’ve chosen the performers on these albums. It started personal – basically, my love for the buskers we picked. Then, the internet stepped in, and let us know who to choose. Here they are – the 19(!) street performers on our 4 albums.
These are truly some of the LEGENDARY street musicians out there, people who have changed lives, transformed cities and inspired countless others to take to the streets. First up, album #1, titled Cobblestone. (See our second, third and fourth albums here).
Light in Babylon (Istanbul)
Track 1: Istambul Track 2: Gypsy Love
We filmed Light In Babylon back in 2011, performing on the insanely busy Istiklal street. They are local and international legends, with some of the most popular street music videos online (like this one with 4.5 million views).
They are also an inspiring mix of nationalities, performing on the border between East and West. Their lead singer, Michal, “is Israeli from Iranian origin, the santur player is Turkish, the guitarist is French and they co-operate with musicians from different origins (Turkish, English and more)”.
Recently Turkey has, of course, changed. But hopefully this band will remain a light in the heart of Istanbul. And we’re honored to have them on our first album!
Wojtek (a.k.a. “Maximón“) defies pigeonholing. In his words, he’s a “gypsy groove entrepreneur, loopologist, beatboxer and resident of funky town”. We filmed him back in 2011, then came to see his show at the Edinburgh Fringe again in 2012, 2013 and 2016 – he’s just that good to watch.
Mixing slap bass with beatboxing, and running it through a loop deck, Wojtek (pronounced “voy-tek”) creates an audio soundscape like nothing else I’ve heard. Perhaps unsurprising – he’s an afro-wielding,
Funny story; while scouting a location to film The Lost Hat in Singapore, I fell off a skateboard and really badly damaged my arm. I ran to find a pharmacy that was still open, took a bunch of strong pain meds and returned to the river to do the shoot. By the end of it I could neither straighten or bend my arm – it was locked at about 90% for the next week, swollen and black at the elbow.
The shoot was one of the most involved we did, a proper music video, with the band repeating the same song a bunch of times so that we cut mix them together in the edit. Notice that the french horn turned up late, so sometimes he’s standing in the back, and sometimes he’s not there. 🙂
Track 7: Waiting for a crowd Track 8: Watercolours
Mixing new age finger style with his own innovative lap slap technique, Geordie Little creates unique layered compositions like nothing you’ve heard before on a guitar. Combining both rhythms and melody at the same time, he blew my mind the first time I saw him play at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.
But even more importantly, he plays without shoes on. In the street. Thus his nickname, “the barefoot busker”. I like to call it “homeless chic”.
Bonus footage – Geordie and Wojtek (above) played together once at the Ed Fringe, and the result was beautiful. Homeless chic meets resident of funky town:
Charlotte Campbell is a lively, engaging British singer-songwriter, one of the South Bank’s most prized performers and we’ve hired her on multiple occasions. We even put her on a 100ft stage up in the sky at a music festival in London, which was pretty fun.
Anyway, Charlotte’s been the poster child of busking in London, appearing in almost every publication that’s shown an interest. Her voice, repertoire and style just make busking look really good. Oh, and check out her blog – it’s really well written and insightful.