Orchard Road’s ‘Ed Sheeran’, 21, busks for passion & university fees

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Zhangxin Zheng | June 15, 03:23 pm


If you frequent Orchard Road, you might have seen this young busker — or at least, heard his rendition of Ed Sheeran songs.

Photo by Zheng Zhangxin.

21-year-old busker on Orchard Road

Meet Harith Rahman, who is only 21 years old but has already been busking for two years.

Harith shared with Mothership.sg that he typically performs at least twice or thrice a week along Orchard Road, usually near Ngee Ann City or [email protected]

Even during the fasting month of Ramadan, Harith continued to play his music outdoors, but usually in the late afternoons, around 4 to 5pm.

His repertoire includes mostly Ed Sheeran’s songs, which he personally enjoys and are well-received by passers-by.

Besides Ed Sheeran, Harith also enjoys singing songs by Jason Mraz, and can even rap to Eminen while playing the guitar.


Want to be a singer?

With practice and interest, Harith shared that he picks up new songs quite quickly. For the easier ones, it can take just 10 minutes to master it, he told us.

Sometimes, busking is also a form of practice, and he perfects the song as he performs.

As much as he is good at this, Harith does not intend to make a career out of singing — at least for now.

“I would love to (become a professional singer). But the Singaporean music scene isn’t the best and I have passions in other areas as well.”

Having said that, busking has now become a means for him to be financially prepared for university.

“I had to find a way to raise a bit of money for my university. I’m going overseas and the money from busking helps quite a bit .”

As someone who has enjoyed performing since young, Harith plans to study applied drama and theatre in London.

Perhaps we will see him on screen in the future.

How much can busking earn?

Here comes a question that many of us are curious about — are Singaporeans generous with money?

While Harith did not answer us directly, he suggested that people are still quite supportive of the arts.

“All I can say is that it depends on what time of day and which day. It varies mostly but Singaporeans are more generous than one would expect.”

However, when asked what satisfaction he draws from busking, he replied that it is the attention that members of the public give as they pause and listen to his performance.

What keeps him busking happily over the years is also notes of appreciation left on his Instagram account, such as these:

Feel free to show your support if you see him along Orchard Road.

Top photo by Zheng Zhangxin

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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