Meet the Buskers: Desirée

Meet the Buskers: Desirée

We have a very special busker profile for you today!

Not only is Desirée Dawson one of the TransLink Buskers and has been for a few years, but she is also the winner of the CBC Music’s Searchlight’s top prize this year!

Enjoying a fairly busy and exciting time, we were lucky enough to grab Desirée for a few moments to discuss her music and her experiences as a busker and her plans for the future!

How long have you been playing music/singing?

I’ve been singing my whole life.. literally since I was a baby haha.  I’ve been playing the Baritone ukulele for three years now.

What training do you have?

I took singing and piano lessons for a little bit when I was really young! Ukulele is self-taught! 

What instruments do you play?

Piano, Baritone Ukulele, Sansula.

What  do like about busking?

I like connecting with others and spreading some musical medicine to people as they go about their daily tasks!

Do you have any funny stories from your busking experiences you want to share?

I always think its SO cool and funny how dogs react to busking. They sometimes just stand there mesmerized, usually looking at my amp, shifting their cute little heads from side to side wondering what the heck is going on in that box.

Tell us about participating in the CBC Music Spotlight competition – what made you want to compete? And you won! What does that feel like? What does it mean for your musical career?

Its been a wild journey! Everything seems to have happened so quickly and all at once, but at the same time I’ve been working at this for years so its really such a proud moment for myself.

I really want to get my music out to the world, to connect with others, to grow and learn more and more! This competition has helped me already, in so many ways with that! The fact that my daily tasks seem to be 90% just connecting with people, sharing and learning to enhance the music I create, is really amazing to me! I’m forever grateful for the wonderful experience.

Coming up, I will be recording my first EP in Toronto at Metalworks studios! Once that is done, I imagine I can finally live my dream of going on tour!

What can passengers/passerbys expect when they catch you performing on the system?

I am not one who dances around, puts on a upbeat show necessarily. I just act as ambiance for passerby’s.  I aim to enhance the quality of peoples day casually and subtly, in the background.  I like to be peoples personal theme music haha!!

Ok, it’s hard, I know, but I ask everyone! What is your favourite song? Favourite band/artist?

Very hard. I do not have a favourite at all. This question always gives me anxiety because I always end up re-reading interviews being like “HOW COULD I FORGET TO SAY ________”.  I will just say that I really love Lianne La Havas and Leon Bridges a wholllllllee lot!

What does the future hold for superstar busker, Desirée?

Music, music and more music.  Busking, busking and more busking, loving, loving and more loving!

Advice for those interested in the busker program?

Be so truly you that people can’t help but feel the heart and dedication in your music. You can do it!!!

Looking for more Desirée? Check out her interview with Shad from CBC’s q.

If you feel like you could be the next busking sensation, you can learn more about the TransLink Busker Program and audition for next year!

Author: Adrienne Coling