Wimbledon Teen Aims To Be London's Top Busker

Look out for her performing on London's streets

A teenager from Wimbledon is competing for a series of prizes in the Gigs Big Busk, the country's biggest street music competition.

Singer-songwriter Chloe Leigh, aged 18, is working on her debut album while completing her studies at the BRIT school.

Also competing are 18-year-old students Rosi & Ella - a duo from Raynes Park, best friends who have been writing and singing acoustic songs for over five years.

As part of the competition, both acts will be performing live at a number of prominent London settings over the next few weeks.

Aimed at young people aged 11-25, around 1,000 entries were received for Gigs 2014, which is organised by the Mayor of London and offers aspiring artists the opportunity to hone their skills and gain valuable experience of performing in public.

They also have the chance to win great prizes, which are intended to help them develop their musical ability and support their aspirations to build a career in the music industry.

Around 200 acts, including soloists, duos and groups, will be pitching up at over 20 high profile settings, including on the London Underground, at Network Rail stations and other busy locations, including St Paul's Cathedral, Regent Street and the two Westfield shopping centres, treating passers-by to a variety of musical styles, from pop to country and classical to hip hop.

They will play every day except Mondays until Saturday 9 August and the public can vote online at www.gigsbigbusk.com/vote until Sunday 31 August.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Busking is a familiar and much loved part of city life, particularly in London and our Gigs competition is a fantastic opportunity for talented young musicians to shine in front of the public. Over the years Gigs has provided a platform for some great musicians wanting to carve a career in the music industry. We're calling on the public to keep an eye out for our latest line up of talent, show their appreciation and, most importantly, get voting! We might have a budding Ed Sheeran or Ellie Goulding in our midst."

Whilst bidding to be named Gigs busker of the year, there are also great prizes up for grabs, to help winners develop their careers in the industry. These include a highly coveted licence to busk on the Tube, courtesy of Transport for London; a training and coaching package from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance; recording time at a top studio; equipment; mentoring from industry professionals; and further performance opportunities. One winner will also get the chance to head to Paris to busk around the French capital, courtesy of Eurostar and another prize will see the winner heading off to play at the Matala Beach Festival in Crete. There will also be a prize for best original song sponsored by PRS for Music.

If you miss the live performances, videos of the performers can be viewed on the website at www.gigsbigbusk.com/vote from Monday 11 August and the public has until Sunday 31 August to vote for their favourite in each category.

The Grand Final takes place on Sunday 7 September from 12pm at Westfield Stratford City. 18 finalists will compete before a panel of industry judges and thousands of Westfield visitors. There are three categories: Soloists and Duos, for people aged 16-25; Youth, for people aged 11-15; Groups, for up to 20 members. The judges will decide a winner in each category and one act will be crowned Gigs Champion 2014.

August 1, 2014