Belfast Telegraph

Schoolgirls Katelyn and Daniella named Belfast's best buskers

By Amanda Ferguson

We asked you who the best buskers in Belfast are - and you didn't hesitate to declare your winners.

Two schoolgirls were today unveiled as the winners of the Belfast Telegraph's search to find the best street musicians in the city.

Luke Devlin
Luke Devlin

Guitar/Singer

From Belfast, Luke sings and plays guitar with great enthusiasm.

Luke boasts a strong, husky voice but had taken a long break from busking in Belfast, until recently. He can now be seen and heard frequently around the city.

Watch Video

Carlos Aflat
Carlos Aflat

Singer

45-year-old from Romania, now living in Belfast.

His vibrancy and enthusiasm are a hit with the public and resonate through the city centre. He can be heard belting out much-loved tunes from streets away.

Watch Video

Eva and Nathan
Eva and Nathan

Guitar/Singer

Performing arts students and are well used to the limelight.

The pair are from Lurgan and Portadown and this was their first time busking in Belfast. Both play guitar and sing regularly together.

Watch Video

Heather White
Heather White

Guitar/Singer

Heather, 28, is a singer-songwriter from Dundonald and a married a mother-of-two.

She frequently takes part in the growing music scene in the city and has gained a strong following. Heather wanted to demonstrate, not only her fantastic singing abilities, but her song-writing skills, also.

Watch Video

Dmitri, Mered and Roman
Dmitri, Mered and Roman

Guitar/Singer

Hail from Russia and enjoy busking as a group regularly in Belfast.

They bring a classical edge to the sounds filling the city's streets, playing well-known tunes by greats like Handel.

Watch Video

Justin Barnes
Justin Barnes

Guitar/Singer

Has an eclectic range and entertains his audiences with musical greats such as Fleetwood Mac, Eddie Vedder and Bob Dylan.

The 34-year-old has a strong voice, bringing a level of gravitas to Belfast's streets, while also managing to allow his joyous personality to shine through.

Watch Video

Hugo Boitel-Gill
Hugo Boitel-Gill

Guitar/Singer

Impresses shoppers at the weekend by boldly playing Jimi Hendrix classics.

At just 13, the schoolboy shocks passers-by with his advanced guitar-playing skills while belting out songs like Purple Haze and I Can't Get No Satisfaction.

Watch Video

Hugh Ivory
Hugh Ivory

Guitar/Singer

59-year-old street performer and songwriter who sings a variety of covers interspersed with songs of his own creation

He brings enthusiasm and cheer to the streets of Belfast through singing, playing his guitar and interacting with the public.

Watch Video

Joe Magee
Joe Magee

Guitar/Singer

Singer and guitar player from Belfast who has been busking on the streets of Belfast for many years.

He is known for playing in Pottinger's Entry just off Ann Street. A voice of experience, Joe decided to sing an Elton John classic to show off his range.

Watch Video

Marty McGrady
Marty McGrady

Guitar/Singer

20-year-old singer-songwriter from Belfast with a raspy, soulful voice.

Marty can be seen regularly with his guitar, entertaining shoppers in the Cornmarket area of the city.

Watch Video

Ellie McCreanor
Ellie McCreanor

Guitar/Singer

17-year-old from Annacloy in County Down. She busks every Saturday in Belfast city centre, playing and singing a range of songs.

Ellie braved the wind and the cold to play a slow, melodic version of Bruce Springsteen's classic Dancing in the Dark

Watch Video

Daniella and Katelyn
Daniella and Katelyn

Guitar/Singer

Both 17-years-old and from Downpatrick. Daniella is a talented ukulele player and, along with Katelyn's vocal skills, they formed a dynamic duo.

They enjoy playing up-beat tunes and proved popular with passers-by, despite this occasion being only their second time busking in Belfast.

Watch Video

Gavin Ferrisdam
Gavin Ferris

Guitar/Singer

Plays his acoustic, locally made, Catherwood guitar in a percussive 'fingerstyle'.

He has been performing live for several years and wants people to experience the different styles of music in Belfast.

Watch Video

We asked readers to vote online for the best busking videos shot by this newspaper around Belfast - and Katelyn Dembir and Daniella Crispi from Downpatrick were the runaway winners.

From 13 acts in the competition, the Assumption Grammar pupils, both aged 17, attracted the highest number of public votes and a prize of £100 of music vouchers.

Katelyn, who sings chart-toppers while Daniella plays the ukulele on the streets of Belfast, took a break from lessons yesterday to share their delight.

"We didn't think we were going to win," said Katelyn.

"We've just started busking together and we are so excited about this.

"My family are really proud."

Daniella, who is taking on A-Level maths, further maths, politics and music, wants to study Maths with Actuarial Science at a university in Dublin or Manchester.

She explained she plays ukulele while busking and also piano when at home.

"I'm very shocked we won the competition but also very happy," the schoolgirl said.

"I didn't expect it. I have been busking for about three years but only recently with Katelyn.

"The day we were filmed by Belfast Telegraph was our first time busking together.

"My family are also very happy."

Katelyn, who is studying A-Level Irish, geography and history of art, has plans to do an Irish degree at Queen's University and says she will definitely continue busking.

"We do covers of pop songs and stuff that is charting at the minute," Katelyn said.

"Riptide is my favourite and I like Jessie J, Train and Bastille too.

"We are definitely going to keep busking.

"It has given me a lot of confidence.

"Before, I wouldn't have sang in public.

"We're planning to busk loads in the summer after our exams."

The girls have school and work commitments keeping them extremely busy at the moment but have vowed they will be back busking in Belfast city centre in a couple of weeks' time.

They usually stand in the Fountain Street area - so keep your eyes and ears peeled.

Belfast Telegraph deputy editor Ed McCann congratulated the girls on winning our inaugural online busking competition.

"Well done to Daniella and Katelyn," he said.

"A big thanks to everyone on the shortlist and to Belfast Telegraph readers for voting.

"A stroll through Belfast city centre reveals a huge number of talented musicians performing on our streets.

"It is a great place to gain performance experience and to test out material on the public.

"We wish the girls every success with all their musical endeavours and of course their university studies."

Background

Daniella and Katelyn have won our online competion to find the best busker in Belfast. The others finalists, who can be found performing all over the city, include: Luke Devlin, Carlos Aflat, Eva and Nathan, Heather White, Dmitri, Mered and Roman, Justin Barnes, Hugo Boitel-Gill, Hugh Ivory, Joe Magee, Marty McGrady, Ellie McCreanor, and Gavin Ferris.

Check our videos of them all on http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph