David Owens – The king of buskers

DAVID comes from Galway, Ireland, but has spent much of his music career on the road. Having left his job as a Software Engineer in 2013, David embarked on a Campervan trip around Europe which, in his words “just never really ended” – going on to perform street music in over thirty cities across Europe.


“I didn’t really plan on making this my career. I’d always been musical I suppose – I’d been getting piano lessons since the age of 5, and writing songs since I had my first girlfriend at 16! I guess I just didn’t have the confidence to really go for it, so when suddenly I found myself in another country where no-one recognised me, it became much less scary..”.


Eventually, he got tired of the constant moving and living from a single suitcase – and has spent the last three years in Dublin, where he’s become a familiar face as the guy with the grand piano on famous Grafton St, possibly the most recognised street in the world for street music.
“I wanted to settle somewhere for a while. I found that I was having the same conversations all the time and I didn’t have anywhere I could really write or record. Dublin was an easy choice because it was a good place to busk and play gigs, while also being just a few hours drive from my family in Galway.”


It’s well known that it’s been a tough year for musicians and artists in general, but David has taken a more optimistic approach, taking the time to record his latest album, and going back to piano teaching, which he did to pay his way through university.
“Honestly, I started teaching this year for the money. I generally play lots of corporate events and suddenly they simply didn’t exist anymore. With all the tourists gone, busking wasn’t paying my rent. But I’m so glad I teach now, it’s really fulfilling work, it’s all adults and we have a great time. I also started collaborating with a restaurant, Pinocchio, to run livestream gigs while they’re closed to the public, and that’s been a wonderful experience which probably wouldn’t have happened without the coronavirus.” There’s always a silver lining, right?


We asked David if he’s ever thought about playing in Italy: “I’ve played there a few times, actually. Playing in front of the Duomo in Milan was pretty special. My favourite experience was playing in the beautiful castle in Ferrara one evening during their Buskers’ festival. Over 500 people in the audience and such spectacular surroundings – I’ll never forget it.”


What’s next? “I’m planning on touring around Europe again next Summer. If this year has taught me anything, it’s not to wait too long to do the things you want to do in life. I’m helping to organise a music festival in Italy, so I’ll take the long road there over a few months. You can’t really fly with a piano anyway!”


Catch David on Spotify, or on a street near you soon!

Read also: Ring the bell and make a wish

Link: davidowens.co


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