Meet T&T’s newest busker or street performer Josiah Joseph, 23, of Belmont.
Joseph was recently seen outside a popular mall in Port-of-Spain strumming his guitar and singing soothing love songs with such passion.
In front of him there was a little cardboard box containing money from people passing by who took time out from their busy schedules to be entertained.
When approached, Joseph, who was doing one of his three-times weekly stint, smiled warmly and remained very humble.
Asked why he took to street performing, Joseph replied: “Every day I come out here just to see if I can make something to help myself and to help others who are more in need than me. I make things happen by coming out of the box. I’m always the giving type and would sometimes help people get a roof over their heads.”
This time, however, Joseph, a self-taught guitarist, is attempting to raise funds specifically to produce his very first “low-budget” music video for his own song You’re Still With Me. The video, he said, will cost him approximately $3,000 (a discounted price offered to him).
“From as small as I can remember I have been doing music and interested in it and at the age of 13, I got the opportunity to be around musicians and producers and from there, I started developing my music skills. I taught myself to play the guitar and then I went on to do advance professional training with a professional guitarist and then went on to do vocal training,” Joseph said.
Growing up, Joseph always kept himself above the average child and many times accompanied his father on construction sites. “I am your local carpenter, mason…I helped my father build lots of homes…I can build from tables to plaster walls. I am determined to stay away from a life of crime and all the negativity that’s plaguing society.”
In his message to the youths, Joseph encouraged them to keep positive people around them. “Be humble. Be yourself and do good. Look to do things that will promote you in your life to serve others in a positive way. I am working towards my own breakthrough and believe I will make it. You can do the same! Do something out of the box.”
According to guitarworld.com, busking, also known as street performing, has a long and storied past, enriching the American culture since time began (although there were fewer street corners back then). As cities got more crowded and security measures more enhanced, and certainly after 9/11, more regulations have been implemented and enforced.
Travellers to the United States are expected to come across street performers in the subways, malls, outside restaurants, and street corners.