Busk­ing leads to broadcasting

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS richard.mays@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

Busk­ing is a time-hon­oured pas­time. Prac­ti­tion­ers earn a bit of money, get to prac­tice their reper­toires, gain per­for­mance con­fi­dence, and de­velop their singing and play­ing style.

13 year-old Jack­son Bar­rett has been per­form­ing in pub­lic for nearly half his life.

He and his ukulele are fa­mil­iar sights and sounds at Satur­day’s Al­bert Street Mar­ket, out­side the Plaza, along The Square, and on Broad­way – that’s our Broad­way, not the Great White Way.

Adele can take some of the ‘blame’ for his mu­si­cal pro­cliv­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to mum Wendy Bar­rett. ‘‘He would sing Some­one Like

You – it was such a cool song, and the fam­ily couldn’t get over how good he sounded.’’

While Jack­son has been vo­cal­is­ing since he used to sing along to Dave Dob­byn’s Wild

Kisses, it was Bob Filby at Winch­ester School, and Jen­nifer Moss at Russell Street School whose ukulele lessons helped give shape to his awak­en­ing mu­si­cal am­bi­tions.

2016 and first year at Awat­apu Col­lege, Jack­son en­tered the school’s Ju­nior Idol com­pe­ti­tion, com­ing first equal for his ver­sion of Lukas Gra­ham’s Seven Years.

Thanks to se­nior Awat­apu stu­dent Kaitlin Al­lan, who hosts ‘The Voice’, a youth fo­cused ra­dio show deal­ing with is­sues for teens and mu­sic from up and com­ing per­form­ers Tues­day nights on Ac­cess Manawatu, Jack­son has had five of his songs recorded at the com­mu­nity ra­dio sta­tion.

‘‘It was re­ally ex­cit­ing. I was re­ally ner­vous though be­cause they were go­ing to be broadcasting – but we got mul­ti­ple takes.’’

When he’s gig­ging on the street or at the mar­ket, big sis­ter Ge­or­gia (15) keeps a watch­ful eye on him and on the do­na­tions, which have helped him buy sev­eral use­ful items. ‘‘Peo­ple are quite friendly there. You get to know them and they get to know you,’’ Jack­son says. His best busk­ing songs are

House of the Ris­ing Sun and John Len­non’s Imag­ine.

If New Zealand’s Got Tal­ent ever comes back to town, Jack­son will cer­tainly give it a go, and is de­ter­mined that mu­sic will be in his fu­ture

‘‘I want to get a de­gree in mu­sic and then be a mu­sic teacher,’’ he says.


Though young, Jack­son Bar­rett is an old hand at busk­ing, and is look­ing for­ward to hav­ing some sort of ca­reer in­volv­ing mu­sic. Big sis­ter Ge­or­gia is rides an un­ob­tru­sive shot­gun in the back­ground.

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