Keddy Sowels on Busking in the North, Breaking Through the fear of Knowing People in the Audience and Tips to get Started with the Craft

As a Newcastle University student, I have made many trips across Northumberland Street and it’s never giving the same energy! 

What I mean when I say this is that the things you hear are vastly different depending on the day, and even time 

Busking is evidently Rife in Newcastle’s busy City Centre 

So… naturally, I thought about what Busking can provide to performers looking to make it as a professional musician 

Why is it a viable method of getting yourself seen by talent agencies? How do you manage an audience that is seemingly ever-changing? 

Growing up with an insatiable need to perform, but with all the confidence of a broken guitar, I find it incredible how many young talented musicians put themselves in front of an audience like that – that takes balls! 

I spoke with Keddy Sowels, an aspiring musician who was born and raised the Geordie way and has been busking for just over a year now 

He gives some good insight into how it feels to start up as a busker and some of the barriers you may encounter, The Audio Clip below are some of the best tips and anecdotes about Sowels journey with busking as well as some ways to get started: 

photo credit: @_gripless on instagram

When you become a street performer, it is crucial to understand your boundaries and respect the space you’re in 

So here are just a few tips to help you get acquainted with the craft, and avoid being heckled: 

  1. Read up on local guidelines for noise 

In most cities, the council will have outlined rules for Buskers to follow. A lot of what is outlined is common sense to most; don’t block footpaths/highways; make sure that you aren’t being too loud as to disrupt any businesses from operating 

Newcastle City Council Guidelines 

  1. Make sure you stay levelheaded – Don’t get territorial 

Say you are a new busker who has discovered a spot that works for you in the city Centre, it would be very confusing for you to claim to own that spot (At the end of the day, you are performing in the most public of places) and there are many spots in Newcastle to showcase your singing and musical talents 

  1. Focus on the music  

You have already taken that first big step in going out to perform in front of an audience, don’t let the audience taint you or distract you from what you want to get out of Busking, at the end of the day no audience will ever be the same on any given day, so focus on what you are bringing to the street performer scene regardless. 

All in all, it’s wonderful to see so many artists taking this more unconventional approach to getting their name out there and it clearly does have a big impact on your long-term career! 

Keddy Sowels has just released his new song ‘Knives and Thieves’ and his career is taking off because of his busking efforts and dedication 

If you are passionate about singing or can play an instrument of some sort, then why not get yourselves out onto the streets of the ‘toon’ and start today! 

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