Busking leads to broadcasting
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.