New York is probably one of the most diverse cities in the world.  A professor once told me you can listen to better music in New York´s Subway than in any other part of the world.  I agree. New York´s Subway is a great place to discover music and listen to amazing performers. Of course, not every artist is wonderful, you can also see weird or funny people trying to get attention or Youtube views. Besides, as any New Yorker, you only have a few seconds to see how these artists might get your attention.

Why not have some motivation while waiting for the train?

Since 1985, the MTA Arts and Design Division of NYC Subway has been in charge of curating and presenting quality music to the commuting public of New York. More than 350 bands and artists participate in “Music Under New York”, providing more than 7,500 annual performances at 30 locations. Impressive? Yes. Most of the bands and artists you see performing in the subway are carefully selected by the MTA Arts and Design Division for you to experience great music while waiting for the train.   It makes sense. The subway is part of every New Yorker´s live. Why not have some motivation while waiting for the train? New York´s subway music scene is unbelievable, mysterious and eclectic. You can listen to incredible voices from bands like Infinity´s Song who performed with Tori Kelly, or solo artists like Damon Scott, the voice behind the hit song “Look Right Through” by storm Queen, or Denisse Weeks, who made it to The X Factor and impressed the judges with her voice.

From many bands I´ve seen performing at the subway, there is one band that captured my attention and left me speechless: Majestic K Funk. As the name speaks for itself, Majestic K Funk is a Motown style blues & funk band with powerful vocals and a soulful sound. With millions of views in Youtube, Majestic K Funk in one of those bands that instantaneously blows your mind. How can this guys still be undiscovered? That´s a great question. We decided to look for them and put up a real show at The Basement Bar in Brooklyn.  This happened a few weeks ago.

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Majestic K Funk @ The Basement Bar, Brooklyn, NY. April, 2016.
Michael J. Young lead singer from Majestic K Funk.
Michael J. Young lead singer of Majestic K Funk.

Like Majestic K Funk, there are thousands of stories and hundreds of Youtube videos for subway artists, there´s even a webpage that brings New York´s underground musicians up to rooftops above the city. Subway musicians are just like many other artists trying to make it big in New York. They share their talent with thousands of visitors from all over the world and their stage is a subway station. Subway artists have maybe 30 seconds to impress before the train arrives and eliminates any possible sound, applause or chance to get a tip from you. Regular commuters pass in front of them like nothing was happening. Tourists are enthusiastic; they take videos, sing, dance and sometimes leave a tip. Next time you see a subway artist, go listen, tip, and help the New York subway music scene stay alive.

Now, think for a moment. Who´s your favorite subway performer? Would you like to find New York´s Subway music scene in one playlist?

Julian Duque

Julian is an entrepreneur with 10-years´ experience developing and executing start-ups and marketing strategies within the music industry. Co-founder & COO at Stereotheque.

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