Busker What’s Your Story? Rob Falsini

Rob Falsini

“Standout moments for me are when a strong connection with the audience is built. When that happens, busking is pure magic!”

Rob Falsini

At Busker What’s Your Story? we’re thrilled that acclaimed London busker Rob Falsini accepted our invitation to the blog to tell us a little more of his story. As well as those videos we’ve featured here, you’ll find loads more on YouTube of this amazing and versatile Covent Garden standout.

Tell us a little about your music career?

I moved to London from Rome in 2003 with the aim of becoming a professional musician. After just a few months, I was approached by Cirque du Soleil composer Benoit Jutras to be the lead singer in a massive show in Las Vegas called Le Reve by Franco Dragone, a gig I performed until 2008.

During that period I did more than 1000 shows and had the chance to sing for Sting, Celine Dion, Anastacia and many others.

I came back to London in 2008 to pursue a solo career, and (thanks to a viral video taken by a tourist in 2014) I was able to build a up a strong presence online and earned the opportunity to play gigs in Uk, Ireland, Canada, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Morocco, Norway and Barhain.

I currently play gigs and busk regularly in Covent Garden in London. You’ll find me on social media as Robcoventgarden. 

What do you love about busking and what do you dislike about it?

Standout moments are when a strong connection with the audience is built, when that happens, busking is pure magic!

I like the idea that I have to start from zero, every single day.

The downside is certainly playing in bad weather conditions and occasionally dealing with annoying people.

If you could choose a lyric that sums up life for you, what would it be?

I honestly don’t know how to answer this one. I don’t think busking can be summed up by a lyric… Even though it seems to be the same activity, it does change every single time. 

Do you think busking can survive an increasingly cashless society?

It is gonna be tough! Unless a truly efficient card reader is made available, that is super fast and easy. But also, the mentality of the audience must change, they have to understand that if they don’t have cash, they can still donate. It is possible, but it’s not gonna be easy.

If you could change something on the streets, what would it be?

I would go back when the society wasn’t becoming cashless…

What’s next for Rob Falsini?

Who knows? LOL – that’s the beauty of this profession, anything can happen! I found most of my gigs through busking and the Chasing Cars video that went viral was only shot by a tourist, so you never know what to expect.

Have you ever busked in Australia?

No, unfortunately, never – (Well we’re waiting Rob!)

Rob is also an accomplished singer/songwriter. Here he is performing a soulful original called Christmas Lullaby that he wrote for his children.



Busker What’s Your Story? Stefano Rosa

Image Credit: Alessandro Legrenzy

Stefano Rosa

“Everything that happens is totally sincere and true, whether it’s from me or from the people. Playing on the street creates a unique atmosphere, especially when little kids start dancing or jumping all over the place. They’re so funny and I’m really thankful to them for making this experience so rich in terms of emotions.”

Stefano Rosa

Thirty-two year old Stefano Rosa is an Italian musician who grew up in a small village in the north of Italy called Coccaglio in the province of Brescia. With a music teacher and choir director for a mother and a brother who played piano and composed music, it was no surprise when (at the age of 7) he followed in their path, learning classical, electric and acoustic guitar.

Stefano enjoyed success as a guitarist in the band Sunset Baby Dolls for 7 years, opening for a number of Italian and International artists. Since 2015 he has also performed as a soloist and street artist.

Busker What’s Your Story? reached out to Stefano to find out more about his busking experiences.

You grew up in Coccaglio – what are some childhood memories there?

I have beautiful and vivid memories of my childhood. Playing soccer with my friends all day long and everyday, listening to music for hours in my parents’ car while traveling, playing with my beloved dog in the garden and doing my homework in the kitchen with my brother playing the piano in the background.

What drew you to music?

My family is made up by three quarters of musicians, so it definitely did not happen by accident!
My Mother was always listening to Classical or songwriter’s music. At the age of 7 she started teaching me the basics of guitar and it all began from there.

What do you love or loathe about busking? What are some memorable moments?

I love the fact that I’m 100% free. I’m free to play wherever, whenever, however I want to (as long as I observe the cities’ regulations). Everything that happens is totally sincere and true, whether it’s from me or from the people. Playing on the street creates a unique atmosphere, especially when little kids start dancing or jumping all over the place. They’re so funny and I’m really thankful to them for making this experience so rich in terms of emotions.

I honestly don’t hate anything about busking. Maybe I could venture to say I don’t love carrying all the equipment around, especially during hot summers.

The most beautiful thing that happened to me while busking was a lovely old woman who put a 1€ coin on a wonderful embroidered silk handkerchief. How much meaning she put into that gesture! I also remember a sweet lady who came up to hug me while I was playing an Elton John song on the Nice promenade.

If you could choose a lyric from any song that is very special to you – what would that lyric be?

Chi aspetta sempre l’inverno per desiderare una nuova estate.
taken from “Lettera” by Francesco Guccini. It means: “Those who always wait for winter to wish for a new summer.”

Have you ever busked in Australia? 

No. Never. But I follow a bunch of Australian buskers on Instagram and I have to say that Australian buskers’ quality is extremely high! I also love to watch those beautiful landscapes such as beaches, piers on the ocean where they perform. I love it!

Do you think busking can survive an increasingly cashless society?

Buskers were born thousands of years ago. They started working in the oldest societies and they kept adapting to changes so I think this will happen tomorrow as well. Buskers in London already take contactless card payments. I think this system will soon spread to many other countries as well.

If you could change something you see on the streets – what would it be?

I wouldn’t change some thing on the street. I would change some people’s mindset. Often, little kids stop and stare at me singing, but their parents drag them away as if they have something essential to do on an ordinary Spring Sunday. These parents are teaching their kids not to enjoy music, or art in general, cause it is a waste of time. Mummy prefers to watch the Louis Vuitton bags in the shop windows. I really detest this behaviour. Damn! Your kid is loving listening to music, he’s enjoying staring at me, and it’s free. You don’t even have to give me a coin. Let him enjoy it!

What’s next for Stefano Rosa?

What’s next for me? Well, I’m trying to change something in my lifestyle, in my job and my leisure time. I would like to spend more time street performing and traveling.

I’ve bought a campervan which will let me live the life of a busker in a more complete and free way. I’d like to tour around Italy and Europe.

This year I will begin touring Po River from the source to the mouth. I’m ready for anything that’s waiting for me in the future.



Busker What’s Your Story? Matt Cross

“I’ll be bringing in the new year once again by making music. Not with a band. Not at a wedding or pub. But on the main street of Albury, raising money for those in need. Every cent I make tonight will go directly to the RFS NSW. It may not be heaps in the scheme of things, but I believe that if everyone makes small efforts like this we can turn this mess around.”

Matt Cross

Matt Cross

When Busker What’s Your Story? went in search of a busker on New Years Eve in Albury, we got more than we bargained for.

Matt Cross, who grew up in Lavington and was home from Newcastle on New Years Eve, was not out celebrating with the lads, choosing instead to give up his time to support the NSW Rural Fire Service. This at a time when fire has ravaged regions surrounding Albury and taken the life of a local volunteer fire fighter.

It was heartening to see young revellers tossing notes and coins in his case where they could. Those who didn’t have any change shook his hand, appreciative of his support. Matt made an impressive $926.90 for the Rural Fire Service.

He doesn’t do a lot of busking these days, this was for a special event. Usually Matt is gigging with his band Glovers Lane of which he is a founding member and the keyboard player.

Matt was just doing his thing, a young muso wanting to give something back. At Busker What’s Your Story? it reaffirmed why we write this blog. Life is full of stories, tragic, funny, interesting and heartwarming. Music is often the glue that brings people together. Find out more about Matt Cross and his band Glovers Lane below.

You grew up in Lavington – What drew you to music as a child?

“Music has always had a hold of me. It’s a magic that’s hard to explain. So choosing to study music was an easy decision. Some memories growing up that stand out would be making music with my siblings. Both my sisters and brother learnt as well, and it was always a lot of fun trying to fit us all on the piano. These days making music with others is still just as fun. That’s a big part of the magic I think.”

What’s a standout memory from your busking days?

“I remember busking on a Christmas Eve a few years back. A lovely family from Melbourne passed through to have a listen. Not only did they donate money, but their two daughters both had a sing on the mic – and were really good! We played songs from The Beatles and Elton John. By the end of it, they had a great crowd gathered, and brought in a small fortune! Was a fantastic night.”

What’s a lyric that is special to you – and why?

“Tim Minchin’s tune “White Wine in the Sun” is up there in my top 5 songs – especially this time of year. The lyrics in the chorus talk about the importance of family over the holiday period. It gets to me every time!”

Do you write your own material?

“I have two original projects that I write for. “Glovers Lane,” a five piece band from Newcastle. And “My Friend Rupert,” an acoustic duo consisting of female and male vocals.”

You can listen to them both here:

Glovers Lane Original – I’ll Be Coming Home Soon

What’s a great advice you’ve been given in your lifetime?

“It’s a cliche one, but so many people have told me to do what you love. I’m fortunate enough to say that I am doing that, and I’ve never been happier.”

Do you think busking can survive in an increasingly cashless society?

“A cashless society makes it difficult, but the busking scene still seems to get by. I’ve seen progressive buskers with eftpos machines haha! It gives the punters no excuse.”

What’s something really interesting about you?

“I can juggle…
I also make a good lasagne (recipe passed down from mum of course)”

Where else can people see you gig/perform?

“For Albury locals, I’ll be back home on the 26th of January performing at the SS&A with local band “Mia Grace and the Aviators”.
“For Newcastle residents, my next show will be with Glovers Lane on the 11th of January, supporting Ash Grunwald at the Cambridge Hotel. Alternatively, follow my Instagram for all shows @mattcrossmakesmusic”

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/matt.cross.393
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gloverslaneband/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mattcrossmakesmusic/

Busker What’s Your Story? Sherri Parry

Sherri Parry

“I’ve always had a very squishy soft spot for ‘What A Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong. That song plucks at my heart strings whenever I hear it or play it. It makes me think of my Grandfather in particular, and my family. It never fails to remind me that the world is wonderful – you just have to choose to see it!

(Sherri Parry)
Image Credit: Craig Zillmann

Bendigo local Sherri Parry is well known for the changing hues of her brightly coloured hair, but it is her music that sets her apart.

At 21, Parry is already making a name for herself as an exciting talent in Victoria’s folk scene. She has collaborated with many musicians on her journey so far, since beginning her career at the age of 12, singing at open mic nights and small gigs in Central Victoria.

“I think I was 13 or so when my parents let me go to The Bridge where I performed with a duo there,” Parry told reporter Chris Pedlar at The Bendigo Advertiser. “That helped me become accustomed to performing for crowds and it wasn’t that intimidating. It was a great stepping stone and a brilliant way to develop how I play.”

Parry’s ongoing participation in the annual Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival has put her songwriting abilities in front of many industry professionals and afforded her mentors such as Grim Fawkner and Tom Lee Richards.

“In writing songs I have never really tried to emulate anyone, because I was always writing for myself.
But there are a lot of bands who I have listened to like Radiohead, Tori Kelly, Led Zepplin and Beyonce. The list is endless and I have learnt to gain influence from every kind of genre,” she says.

We invited Sherri along to Busker What’s Your Story? to find out a little more about Bendigo’s golden girl.

What drew you to music as a youngster and eventually to busking?

“I first learnt to play violin in grade 2, only in an attempt to emulate my big sister who was also studying the instrument. But I quickly became bored with the classical and strict lessons, and chose to pick up a guitar instead. Everything spiralled from there. Since I turned 16, I’ve learnt how to play, sing and perform for myself. Creating and performing were the things that kept me grounded and happy, and they still do. The freedom that came with the desire to learn and improve on my own, coupled with unwavering support from my family, is what pushed me into really wanting to make a career out of music.”

If you could choose a favourite lyric, what would it be, and why is it special?

“There are far too many songs, and far too many lyrics brilliantly scattered across this world to choose one line or one song. But I have always had a very squishy soft spot for What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. That song plucks at my heart strings, whenever I hear it or play it. It makes me think of my grandfather in particular, and my family, and it never fails to remind me that the world is wonderful – you just have to choose to see it.”

Tell us about your new song?

“It’s called Greed and it’s the first song released from my new album coming 2020. It’s actually also the oldest song that will be gracing the album, having been written by 15yo me in 2013. Greed is about simply that – Greed. It was written during a time in my adolescence where I realised that particular people who persistently spoke to me and sought my attention, only did so for their own gain and benefit, often being a romantic one. I quickly learnt that I wasn’t fond of that at all, and Greed was the result.

Over the 6 years of performing it, it’s definitley become a staple in my set list and a song my audience could probably recite the lyrics to. It’s one I let loose on each show, I throw all my angers and frustrations at the world into it, and like to think others do too.

But they’ll have never heard it like this – with a full band backing, incredible production, and a hell of a lot of work, it’s their first tiny sliver of the delectable cake that is this new album.

Greed is the roots of this album, the oldest and probably most loved song I have, and that’s why it’s the first single to be released. It’s a familiar welcoming into what you already know, and what awaits you.”

The song has just been released today and is available here:

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2EZHLFK
ITunes: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1492267411?ls=1&app=itunes
Apple Music: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1492267411

What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given in your lifetime?

Family. It’s the most important thing. They’ll always be there. Don’t forget that.
“My cousin told me this a few months before he passed, and it’s cemented in the walls of my brain ever since. He was right.”

What’s a memorable moment you’ve had busking?

“Years ago I was a part of a duo called Him and Her, in which I performed a side spot for the Bendigo Easter festival in the middle of a street. We had our cases set in front of us, a portable battery to run our amp, an incredible amount of people coming and going. Plus we were both relatively new to the busking/performing.

So when we had about 50 people stop to actively listen to us, we were amazed. But that’s not my favourite memory. As we packed up our gear that day, I had a woman with her baby in a pram come up to me who said that we’d put her crying 2 month old girl to sleep with our music. I remember feeling so touched, delighted, and excited.”

Where else can people see you perform?

“I play around Bendigo, my home town, regularly. Frequenting the Old Church on the Hill, The Golden Vine, and the Moonlight Market.

My home away from home is The Thornbury Local in Melbourne that I get to serenade every couple of months too. So if you look for some colourful boots and bright hair next time you’re around these spots, ya might just find me!”




Busker What’s Your Story? Chaz Gunter

Chaz Gunter

“Don’t ever give up… even when people tell you no, stay focussed and it will happen.”

Sammy Davis Jr. gave me that advice when I was just a young kid. (Chaz Gunter)

Chaz Gunter is an American musician who grew up in Cupertino California. His dad was a musician who played on the Bill Cosby Show and Sammy Davis Jr. show. Starting at the early age of 3, Chaz developed diverse talents in the entertainment fields of acting, drama, dance, comedy, modeling, and music.

Chaz is now a well-known, seasoned freelance musician and entertainer in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad. He has traveled throughout the world with various cruiselines, 5-star hotels, dance, classical, jazz, rock and nostalgia show band tours and well known artists.

He’s also had plenty of experience busking at markets and outdoor events, entertaining the crowds with his multi-instrumental and vocal talents.

We invited him to Busker What’s Your Story to find out a little more.

What drew you to music as a child?

“I was born in motor city  Detroit Michigan. My dad was an engineer for Lockheed and a professional musician, he got transferred to California when I was seven. So I grew up in Cupertino California. Dad played with  the Bill  Cosby &  Sammy Davis Junior shows.  So I grew up around the musical and entertainment world singing, dancing, acting  and modeling.”

What are some memorable moments you have encountered busking or performing?

“I wanted to busk in Morocco one day, I was there  at a resort playing a three month contract and I really wanted to busk. It was a  Farmer’s Market, it was about 90°outside and there was meat  hanging from the racks and there were flies everywhere. That gig was brutal!

The best gigs ever were in  Dubai & Asia where I played at upscale resorts & hotels.”

We’re well on our way to a cashless society, do you think busking can survive?

“Yes. Technology is your friend. Today’s age is so great with all the apps…”

If you could choose a lyric from any song that sums up life for you – what would that lyric be?

“And I need you, more than want you.” – It’s from Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman. To me, it means I love street performing, but it’s hard and taxing sometimes.

 What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you? 

“Sammy Davis Junior gave it to me when I was a young  kid: Don’t ever give up. Even when people tell you no, stay focused and it will happen.”

Have you ever busked in Australia?

“No, but I really want to. Sometimes I wish I could just sell everything and go busking around the world!”

Chaz Gunter with former Mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown. Image Credit: Gene X Hwang


Busker What’s Your Story? Cam Nicholson

Cam Nicholson

“Music is my mistress. And she plays second fiddle to noone.”

Duke Ellington

Cam Nicholson is an Australian musician, based in Melbourne.

For the last 3 years Cam has toured the world performing on the streets and on the stage at festivals around England, Scotland, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Singapore. Experiencing many amazing places, meeting many influential people.

Cam has started recording his Debut Album. The first single Kissing a White Line is available on all streaming platforms.

We caught this busking performance in Bourke Street Mall in November by the talented multi instrumentalist as he entertained a captivated crowd with his fiddle and a loop pedal.

Not only an instumentalist, singer/songwriter Cam says he aims to give listeners the stories of his experiences.


Busker What’s Your Story? The Ghost Buskers

The Ghost Buskers

“Rock and Roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me, I can’t help it. Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ’em all together I guess.”

Elvis Presley

The Ghost Buskers sing their covers of Blue Suede Shoes & Tutti Frutti

We found these two guys from Argentina on their first night busking together in Surfers Paradise. Both have played gigs in Argentina but they are newcomers as a busking duo.

“What’s your name?” we asked.

“The Ghost Buskers.”

“Oh, we like it!” we said.

“So did we, when we filled out the permit papers today!” was their cheeky response.

The gold coast crowd were enjoying their covers of Elvis classics, complete with a little washboard percussion.

Good luck fellas – we hope the Ghost Buskers continue to haunt Cavill Mall with their happy tunes.

Busker What’s Your Story? Gareth Wiecko

Gareth Wiecko

“Don’t do it for the money. Do it because you love it. Also, tomorrow’s a new day!”

Gareth Wiecko
Gareth Wiecko Melbourne Busker

Wandering through Bourke Street Mall one sunny Saturday morning we were stoked to encounter the incredible talent of pianist and music composer Gareth Wiecko.

Gareth was born in Wales and developed an early passion for classical music. He went on to study a Bachelor Of Music at Cardiff University and it was here that he crafted his masterful skills as a pianist.

After completing his degree and boarding a plane with a plan to explore the world, Gareth’s adventures inlcluded busking around Australia. Gareth says he collaborated endlessly along his journey, exploring a plethora of styles and recording his debut solo piano album titled Notes to Self in 2011 at Byron Bay, before eventually settling in Melbourne.

Gareth has completed further studies in production and composition at Melbourne’s Australian Institute of Music (AIM). To support himself while studying, he is still busking around Melbourne.

Gareth says his dream is to compose for film makers, game designers, contemporary dancers and other creators, but he’s not ready just yet to step away from the endless variety of human connections that busking affords him.

He says he could not have dreamed of having all of those connections if it were not for his music.

You grew up in Wales, who taught you to play like that?

“I originally learned in my hometown called Wrexham. I took my studies further and eventually went to University in Cardiff, South Wales. I end up learning from a variety of peers, which really helped broaden my taste.”

What do you like most about busking? What are some memorable moments?

“My favourite aspect of busking is that no two days are the same. Memorable moments would be anything from impromptu dancers and flash mobs, and even young children tapping into and loving music without even realising why.”

If you could change something you see on the streets, what would it be?

“I guess the biggest issues that I see on a regular basis is either homelessness or the lack of options for mental health services. Working Bourke Street, you see your fair share of individuals that could do with some support.”

What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given?

“Don’t do it for the money. Do it because you love it. Also, tomorrow’s a new day!”

What’s next for Gareth Wiecko?

“I’m working on releasing my second album titled ‘Anima’ at the moment. I’m also on the lookout for a new videogame to score!”



Busker What’s Your Story? Doc J. Feelgood

Doc J. Feelgood

“Music is not a job, it’s a passion. But you have to work at it. It’s 10% talent and 90% practice.”

Doc J. Feelgood
Doc J. Feelgood sings a great cover of Tennessee Whiskey

Doc J. Feelgood grew up in Tokoroa in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. His people were originally from the Miti Miti Ngatuna area in Northland, a remote and beautiful region near the Hokianga Harbour.

Doc has been entertaining tourists on the Gold Coast for decades with his smooth blues/country/jazz/rock easy listening style.

We only spent a few mintues with Doc on a busy night on the Gold Coast, but we had to share his talent here on Busker What’s Your Story?

Our video shows Doc J. playing and singing a version of Tennesee Whiskey that gives us a glimpse of a sweet Māori  soul.

Doc told us he gigs in bars and surf life saving clubs all over the coast, but busking is by far his biggest earner! We’re not surprised, we couldn’t walk by without tossing a note in his case.

If you’re holidaying in Surfers Paradise, take a stroll down Cavill Avenue around 7 or 8pm and you might be lucky enough to catch a set from Doc J. – we promise you’ll leave feeling good!

Busker What’s Your Story? David Mogg

David Mogg

“At 81, I must be the oldest busker in the paddock! Maybe I can inspire other oldies to get up there and just do it.
Why do I busk? The extra money keeps my wife in the manner she is becoming used to. Hopefully we will be able to go on a cruise soon, as this will be her last hurrah. She’s not travelling too well any more.”

David Mogg
David Mogg busks on Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

What drew you to music?

“I started to learn the Violin at age 7 . Don’t know why, but I had a very good old lady to teach me. One day when I was about 15 she said: you are a very natural violinist and gifted musician, but I suggest you get a day job to earn a living.” 

“Her next words have never left me: your gift of music is not yours, but for other people to enjoy.”

“So I went to the shipyard and became a Shipwright. Left England at the age of 32 and arrived in Sydney (this was 1968). This was the best thing I ever did. We have had a wonderful life here.”

What can you tell us about your instrument?

“My violin at home is a 250-year-old German Mitnvald but it doesn’t like being miked up, so I’ve recently bought a Yamaha electric one with a battery amp. The sound is great.”

How long have you been busking and why do you busk?

“I only started busking a couple of years ago. Why do I busk? The extra money keeps my wife in the manner she is becoming used to. Hopefully we will be able to go on a cruise soon, as this will be her last hurrah. She’s not travelling too well any more.”

What’s your favourite piece of music?

“My most liked piece of music is: This is a lovely way to spend an evening, by Ella Fitzgerald.”

What advice would you offer aspiring buskers?

“When they think the audience is not listening, most players will turn up the volume. WRONG, WRONG WRONG. You just need to play better! Even turn down the volume.”

“I learned this a long time ago. I was at a market where an old Aboriginal master storyteller was holding his audience in raptures. It was a simple story, but the way he told it was fascinating. Raising his voice, speeding up, slowing down – his pauses had people hanging on to every word.”

“Playing a piece of music is the same as telling a story. No matter how good the melody is, if you just play the notes, it’s just a piece of music. But if you tell the story, it will come to life, then people will start to listen. Once you have them, the rest is easy, and the donations will flow into your hat.”