Buskers line the paths of Briggate like it’s their very own red carpet. From noon until night musicians waiting to make it big fill the busy streets of Leeds with different sounds that combine to fuel the shoppers soundtrack.
Joseph Moore is a 22 year old busker we met playing a cover of Gold Digger originally by Kanye West. He started busking before he left school then went on to study Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, so what brought him back to the streets?
Joseph Moore said: “I went to university and I realised I wanted to busk, I wanted to play music. So I left and now I’m a full time musician.”
Joseph plays in his own band, a function band and makes the journey into town most days to share his talent with others through busking.
Mid-conversation a friend Joseph knows from the trade, Raizor Bennett, comes over and offers to sing for him.
Despite looking like a duo you’d meet down the pub, Raizor and Joseph showed more skill, passion for music and talent between them than the entire ‘Top 40’ right now. A crowd started to form and a couple of 50 pences were thrown into the guitar case but how rewarding can playing to, for the most part, disinterested passersby every day in exchange for a few pound be?
When asked about his hopes and dreams Joseph said: “Just to be able to make a living doing nothing but playing my own music,” but he didn’t see busking as the answer to that.
He said: “I’ve been busking a lot of years, I think I’m ready to move on from it. I know people who make a living from it and it’s great but I feel like I couldn’t keep it up.”
It seemed our conversation about the future had led Joseph to an admission that he didn’t like to voice. Mortgages and bills aside it did look like the buskers were having a good time and enjoying the chance to share their music with people.
It may be this passion that has to die for people to make it big in the music industry nowadays but for the time being Raizor and Joseph were enjoying having Briggate as their stage and a whole city as their audience.