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Making Music in the Subway
posted: November 13, 2006
Key singing in the subway...
Key Appleseeds, age undisclosed, plays rhythm and blues in the subway, competing with the roar of the L train to woo the toughest audience in the world:  New Yorkers during rush hour.

"I'm from Nagoya, Japan. There are no musicians in my family; in fact, I was really bad at music when I was a kid. So my mother still can't believe what I'm doing here.

"I first became interested in music when I was 15. The video clips of the Rolling Stones and the Pretenders made me feel like, "I gotta buy a guitar!"

"Sometimes I played on the street in my country so I was planning to do it here, and I hate playing in bars. But singing in a different language, in English, in front of native people made me hesitate for a while. Then a girl broke my heart. That motivated me right away.

"What I like about singing in the subway is seeing the real reaction of the people right in front of me. A few times, I made a girl cry when singing a sad song. They gave me a bill, crying! It's kinda not good to say but I was glad! For me, as a singer, it was impressive, and, besides, singing in a different language... I made a girl cry! I felt I'm honored.

"A lot of people offer me to have some recordings. Once I recorded my singing in a huge professional studio for free. At that time, a guy who works for MTV shot my recording as well.

"I like New York City better than my country. One of the reasons is, a lot of races live together. How wonderful it is!"
Key, up close....
To meet more subway musicians, and other overlooked New Yorkers, visit OverlookedNewYork.com
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