IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Musician could be named capital’s top busker

28 July, 2017 — By Aleesha Hansel

Sam Wray, 20, has reached the second stage of a competition to find London’s top busker

A 20-YEAR-OLD student from King’s Cross is one step closer to being named London’s top busker.

Sam Wray, of Kings Cross Road, has reached the second stage of the Gigs competition, organised by Busk In London and backed by the Mayor of London. It was set up eight years ago to showcase the talents of musicians aged under 25.

He will now perform across London over the next two weeks to try and secure a place in the grand final.

A judging panel will then select five of the 33 performers in the soloist and duos category to go through to the event taking place at Westfield London on September 3, with the sixth chosen by audience vote.

Sam said: “It’s what I want to do. With every performance I do, I get less anxious. It’s a great experience.”

His father, Michael Wray, gave the philosophy undergraduate his first taste of music when he bought him a guitar aged five and taught him a few cords.

“I still remember it, we went to Argos and got a Nylon classical guitar,” said Sam. “I’ve still got it around, with the original strings on it.”

If he wins, Sam will get year-long underground busking licence, with other prizes on offer including recording time in a professional studio, and training at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.

Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler launched the competition by unveiling one of two specially decorated London buses to coincide with International Busking Day at Wembley Park last Friday.

To vote for Sam or other participants visit http://buskinlondon.com/gigs

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