“I love the line ‘I am one step heavy and two steps high’ in the song ‘Without You’, by Oh Wonder. I see it as such a positive line. To me it means that even when things go wrong, there’s more good in the world than bad.”Eliza May
Eliza May is a young singer/songwriter from Birmingham UK and a Popular Music graduate from Falmouth University.
Eliza’s passion for performing saw her begin her busking adventure around 5 years ago in Birmingham. Eliza then moved to Cornwall to study music where she says busking was an enjoyable way to help fund her studies and hone her craft.
“Around my studies, I managed to find time to visit other musician friends who lived in Liverpool and took the opportunity to busk there as well. It was a great experience, busking all around the UK; it allowed me to meet lots of new people and get my music out to different parts of the country,” she says.
There is a chilled indie pop vibe to Eliza’s original music which she says takes inspiration from artists such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Tori Kelly, Skinny Living and Frank Turner. She has released four singles on Spotify and an EP titled Inner Damage on Soundcloud.
Eliza continues to busk and is also gigging regularly around Birmingham and other areas of the UK as a solo artist with her full band.
We’ve invited Eliza to Busker What’s Your Story? to find out a little more about her experiences as a busker.
You grew up in Birmingham, what can you tell us about your childhood there?
I spent a lot of my time focused on music. From the age of 3, I started singing along to Avril Lavigne and picked up the guitar at the age of 6.
Growing up, I realised that I loved everything about music and spent my childhood immersed in it. I’ve always had a passion for singing and learning instruments, any instrument I could get my hands on and learn to play.
How much time would you spend busking?
When I was in Birmingham, I’d often busk at least two or three times a week and when I was studying in Cornwall, I’d busk once or twice a week.
Can you share some memorable moments?
I think the best moments when busking are when other people can get involved with the experience.
In 2017, I used to busk with an amazing musician called Amelia Wallace. One of my favourite most memorable moments was when we were singing together in front of a large circle of people and a woman stepped forward, into the middle, and started dancing which made the crowd cheer and clap. It was one of the most wholesome moments I’ve experienced busking.
Another great memory is of a Spanish man who came over and asked to play a song. I said yes and he sang the original version of Despacito flawlessly. It was such a great performance of the song; everyone was so impressed that they started clapping and cheering.
If you could choose a lyric from any song that’s special to you, what would that lyric be, and why is it special?
I love the line “I am one step heavy and two steps high” in the song Without You by Oh Wonder. I see it as such a positive line. To me it means that even when things go wrong, there’s more good in the world than bad.
What’s something really interesting about you?
Well, along with being an artist, I also do a lot of community music work around the West Midlands.
This involves working with people of all ages and abilities, including people with mental health and physical disabilities, to help get them involved with music.
I have a strong passion for helping people get into music, no matter what experience they have. I love working in these settings because I see how much of a positive impact each project has on the people involved.
We love your collaboration with Nath Brooks called ‘Reach’ what can you tell us about that?
Nath Brooks is an upcoming singer songwriter that I met on a songwriting project at The Song Lab in Birmingham a couple of years ago. We wrote the song “Reach” whilst on the songwriting project and near the end of 2019 managed to find the time to record it.
We made a live video of it for his YouTube series “Brumtown and Around” which aims to showcase collaborations of people in and around Birmingham, UK.
What’s next for Eliza May?
At the moment, I’m working on my second upcoming EP. Last year I finished writing all the songs for it; now I’m in the process of jamming out the songs with my band and then we’ll be in the recording studio laying down each track.
I also plan on playing more full band gigs. Last year I managed to play two massive shows with my band but this year I want to play a few more. I can’t wait for the spring/summertime as well, so I can get back to busking on the streets. One of my goals this year is to be busking more in London, so hopefully that’s where I’ll be next.
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/ElizaMayOfficial/
Instagram ~ https://instagram.com/elizamayofficial
Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/elizamaymusic
Soundcloud ~ https://soundcloud.com/eliza_may