Let’s continue our discussion for a special music lifestyle in the street of Hong Kong! Take a closer look into the busking culture!!
Music industry has been vibrant in Hong Kong. Music in Hong Kong has always been a mainstream entertainment, it gains its popularity and appreciation essentially through a very commercialized system – such as signing to a big music company like Sony and then the musicians will receive appropriate exposure, while contributing to the economy. However, for industries like Busking, it produces fewer output in the creative economy. Busking itself cannot be categorized as a very mainstream or commercial practice of music, their nature is more similar to independent musicians or just the general public with a big dream. Some buskers including the band that I interviewed have tried only a few times to earn money from their performance, and they actually have received money from their street performances, yet ultimately they have decided against the idea, they felt happier when they performed purely for entertainment and they do not want money involved, as making money is not their incentive. Nonetheless, there are limited spaces for busking in Hong Kong, finding a perfect spot for them to perform is an ongoing challenge. All these factors aside, some buskers are Indie pop singers and they could choose to sell their CDs during the busking.
The main reason that my interviewee chose ‘busking’ in the first place, is that it is just happy. It is happy for the band, and it brings happiness to the crowd. It is a very virtuous reason, somehow it is what artistic pursuit is all about. They can get immediate reactions from audience and they love to interact with them. During the whole process of busking, they met a lot of friends and great people. The atmosphere is incredible and buskers want to bring up this culture in Hong Kong as well as to promote their music.
So, is it just a dream that people fantasize often about? Are these musicians just chasing a phantom? Or there is much more going on in the culture of busking?
Hong Kong simply should not and could not be a cultural desert – there are literally countless of extremely talented people just hanging around in every street, they just need an opportunity for their long-time preparation. Busking is a very special industry, it is a liberation of talent in the the most common way; it is a reflection of creativity in Hong Kong people. It is a reachable dream and a passionate lifestyle. I would love and hope that this music scene can flourish and that Hong Kong can be a true creative city in the future.
Until next time!
Lots of love,