Feeling The Street | Catching Up With The World's Best Street Musicians
Catching Up With Some Of The World’s Best Street Musicians | Feeling The Street
It’s always refreshing to see large companies nurture talent in the arts. This is what Toyota has done with their Feeling The Street campaign. The initiative is designed to celebrate members of society we often see and walk past but don’t often take the time to get to know. These are the street musicians and buskers who provide the background music to the city. Feeling The Street’s aim is to uncover six of the best street musicians from around the world to form a Global Street Band. This year saw 370 contenders enter the international talent quest, from who the public voted for and decided upon the winners. Combining their talents together, the six winners then formed a band and hit the road. Undertaking a road trip that took them through New South Wales, the band found themselves at the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, as well as local Indigenous sites and vineyards. All of this finally culminated in their biggest gig, on a super yacht at Sydney Harbour.
We were recently invited to one of the band’s jam sessions as they rehearsed for a special, one-off show in Sydney. The night began at Potts Point’s The Powder Keg, followed by a short walk to a nearby hotel where the band was rehearsing with their mentor, Jason Kerrison, a musician and X-Factor New Zealand judge.
Ranging in age from 19 to 32, the musicians possess an undeniable talent. With a chance to meet the band members during the intimate session, it was pretty incredible to hear the different stories of what brought each of them there. The band’s vocalist, Chelei Solo, is 21 and had only been busking on the streets of India for one week before she entered Feeling The Street. 31-year-old drummer Albert Peres from Colombia, on the other hand, has been playing for 12 years. He’s self-taught and used the internet and YouTube to learn his craft.
One of the stand out tracks from the night was the original song that the band had written together. They had only known each other a few days before crafting it. The individual talent of the musicians was immediately apparent. It was impressive how well they meshed as a band after only meeting such a short time ago and having come from such different parts of the world.
We were also lucky enough to attend the band’s final show at Sydney Harbour. The water glistened in the background as Global Street Band played, and again it was inspiring to see how well they performed together. Feeling The Street is an exciting initiative, and we can’t wait to see the talent they uncover next.