It’s impossible to swing a a guitar in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street without knocking over a busker or two! Buskers have become as much apart of the High Street on a Saturday as over-spending with performers of all shapes, sizes and styles delighting shopping crowds with their own acoustic efforts or their unique take on classic pop and rock songs.

16 year old, Anna Shields is one such performer; from Mayhill in Glasgow, Anna is a fan os fellow Scots Paolo Nutini and The View and takes inspiration from Kate Nash and Kina Grannis.

Fresh from a sold-out gig at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut last month, I met with Anna to talk busking on Buchanan Street . . . .

What Made You Want To Get Into Busking?

Well, I’ve been playing guitar for years and singing forever really. I had always wanted to perform and get my music heard and busking just seemed like a good way to get myself out there. My parent and all my friends encouraged me and a few of my friends busk too so that’s how I eventually got into it and I’ve been doing it for almost three years now. For the most part, it has been a great experience for me but there has been some negative experiences with people on the street but overall,  busking is absolutely amazing and it’s such a huge part of my life.

How Is The Atmosphere When Busking In Glasgow?

You can see it yourself when walking down Buchanan Street; there are loads of buskers everywhere you turn. The atmosphere on Buchanan Street is great and even if you’re not busking yourself, it’s a brilliant thing to witness. It just makes Glasgow seem more vibrant and a much happier place to be.  When I’m busking, I usually play songs that people know; Katy Perry and Burno Mars. If I manage to get a crowd of people together,  I experiment by playing some of my own songs that I have written.

Are There Rules/Laws That Affect Your Busking Performances?

As far as I’m aware there aren’t any major laws on busking but I do believe that the Government are considering taxing buskers in the near future. They want to try and introduce laws that wil dictate what you wear when busking, where you can busk and for how long before you need to move and how much money you can make before you need to leave.

Do You Plan On Busking At The Edinburgh Fringe This Year?

Yes!  I’m going through to Edinburgh with a few of my friends to busk and share in the atmosphere that The Fringe creates. It’s a great chance for me to build a bigger fanbase and to be able to share my music with people who haven’t heard it before.

Do You Think Facebook and Youtube Have Enabled Buskers To Become More Established?

Definitely! A couple of years ago there weren’t that many buskers out there. Nowadays,  when you’re walking through Glasgow you can see buskers performing on every other street. Busking used to be seen as uncool but now people talk about it on Facebook,  it gets much more publicity and people see it as a positive thing; I think Social Media has had a lot to do with this change for the better. 

For more information on Anna Shields, go to www.facebook.com/AnnaShieldsMusic

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