NYC Subway Musicians: A Journey Through Busking History
Descend into the New York City subway system and you’ll be greeted by talented musicians and performers. You may have seen some of the viral videos and wondered why the performers in NYC are so good. As it turns out, every spring, new acts battle it out through a rigorous audition process to be added to the prime-position platforms by the Music Under New York (MUNY) program. With only 20 new spaces available, and over 300 annual applicants, competition is fierce. But, once you're in the MUNY program – you’re IN! MUNY membership is for life. With so many first-class artists, we’ve chosen some of our favourites for you – and if you’re in New York, we can guarantee they’re worth missing a train for!
Too Many Zooz:
With energy this infectious, we challenge you not to move to their beat. Fusing brass band sounds with house-music influences, Too Many Zooz describe themselves as “Brass house”. Arriving on the New York Subway scene in 2013, it wasn’t long until they became a viral sensation. Now with a string of TV appearances behind them, and having performed with superstar Beyoncé, the future is bright for this trio. Take a listen to their track “Warriors” below:
Queens-based twins Amiri and Rahiem Taylor have performed together since childhood. With a mix of sensational harmonies and exceptional song writing skills, Blac Rabbit’s sound is truly awe-inspiring. The Taylor twins became known for their spectacular Beatles covers, as well as their own style of psychedelic rock. Even with their cover of The Beatles “Michelle” featuring in one of Gucci’s recent campaigns, you can still find Blac Rabbit performing on the 14th Street platform. Check them out performing live here:
Busking in New York City’s transport system for almost 40 years, Mike Yung’s vocals can draw a crowd. In 2016 Mike caught the attention of America's Got Talent scouts and made it to the show's semi-finals. With his debut album “Never Give Up” ready for release in 2019, Mike has recently released a single with Dutch DJ and producer Martin Garrix. Check it out below:
New York City subway performers are as iconic as the streets above and, thanks to the MUNY program, there’s always something new to discover. Now, explore some of the biggest and most talented names to perform on the New York City subway system with our specially curated playlist.