Andrew Kalleen had been arrested for performing in the subway, even though he was in line with the MTA's rules about performing on the platform. The video of his arrest went viral and attracted the attention of many news outlets, including Rolling Stone magazine.
“I was playing guitar while singing on my feet at the subway platform and the police arrested me even he knew that I didn’t violate any law. I was expecting to be arrested one day, but I want to speak out who I am and why we have to be arrested.”
He isn't the only busker to be wrongfully arrested for doing what is perfectly legal, he is currently suing the City of New York for this arrest. He hopes to raise awareness of this issue and put an end to this forever.
The artists we have been working with, some performing in the video above, are artists the producers have discovered as NYC transit riders much like many of you have.
TIME TO PLAY is presenting NYC street musicians that have their own unique stories.
A Capella gospel group Made Over performs gospel music in the cars of subways every morning for the past 15 years. During fighting drug and alcohol addiction for years, the group met each other at men's shelter and rehab. After finding God and joining together to do the one thing they love, singing.
"We all had very dark and difficult moments in our lives, for drug addict, bankruptcy, and other reasons. Having hopeless time in the shelter, we met God and music. Music made us get over the difficulties. Music is God to us."
Made Over will never stop singing to help people who are despair like we were.
EDM musician Chango, who came from Mexico, gives happy energy to people. They perform exciting EDM music in the subway platforms with unique masks on, using car batteries. Can you even imagine people playing EDM music in the subway?
They had difficulties with their status in US, couldn't leave the State for 5 years without seeing their own families back in Mexico. Now, they figured out the status and stying in the State legally. Chango is about to visit their families, finally.
"The worst moment in my life? I’m not sure. We’re from Mexico and there were times that we couldn’t visit our family due to our status in US. Still, life is beautiful. We make and play music which makes people dance and happy."
Gabriel began a professional music career which 'til now has spanned over twenty years. Today, he continues to juggle a schedule of musical diversity ranging from scoring and teaching, to performing all manner of events during performing at NYC subway platforms. He's currently judge of MTA MUSIC UNDER NEW YORK.
Kevin Nathaniel Hylton
Kevin Nathaniel Hylton performs on several traditional African instruments and builds them as well. He is founding member of four music groups, Spirit Ensemble, Heritage O P, Forestdance, and Kaleidhaphonic, all of which currently perform in NYC and internationally.
Zong Li Lu has been living in New York City for quite a long time. He has been teaching music in Chinese school while performing in the subway platforms with his own creation of Chinese instrument.
Recently, his family moved back to China but he decided to stay in New York alone. He misses his family but cannot stop his passion about music.
Theo Eastwind is well known street performer in New York City. He created a busker community, 'Busker Ball'. Busker Ball is an event conceived and organized by busker, musician and artist Theo Eastwind, an active subway performer. His first NYC Busker Ball, which took place on January 23, 2012
After the successful reception of the initial event a decision was made to continue the NYC Busker Ball series on a quarterly basis. Artists who are featured at these concerts still consist of entertainers who utilize public spaces as their stage. The concept has now spread to other cities around the world and they are usually hosted by other local buskers and street performers in the venue's surrounding area.
Dan W Al-Mateen
Dan W Al-Mateen has been street performing for 30 years in New York City.