If you’re unfamiliar with his work, Markus K is a musician who has made a living travelling the world for 30+ years as a busker. He shares his music with strangers every day as he performs on the streets. He uses his music as a powerful tool to connect with people and touch their lives.
Watching the videos on his YouTube channel are like going on a world tour. You can see Markus perform everywhere from Southampton to South Korea and from Portsmouth to Prague. It’s quite exceptional to witness. There are over 7100 languages worldwide but music transcends them all as a universal language. A way to touch hearts and build bridges.
Why did Markus K choose this unusual path? Not much is known about him, in fact, he’s something of a mystery. This is what he reveals on his website:
Born in Holland. 30 years in England. Now travels the world, playing on the street and connecting with people. Other than stating that he currently lives in Liverpool, he gives us no more to work with. It seems he chooses to speak through his music instead.
He is an extremely accomplished musician. He plays the guitar and wavedrum and also performs the vocals. His music is mostly original and is firmly rooted in the Blues and Soul genres.
For a man who makes the streets his stage, you may be surprised to learn that he has recorded a lot of music. He has an album, multiple EPs and over thirty singles on Apple Music. His Spotify channel has 1500 listeners every month. Not too bad for a man who has never appeared on tv or promoted himself in any way.
Whether you’ve heard Markus K or not, you need to watch a video that he recorded in Pushkar, India. He explains how this remarkable performance came to pass:
“We traveled to Rajasthan specially to meet the Cobra Gypsies, also called the Kalbaliyas or Kalbaliya Gypsies. We found them in Pushkar, and they invited us to their village in the desert just outside the town. A wonderful musical interchange followed, which is documented in this video.”
It seems very fitting that a man how lives a nomadic lifestyle himself, should seek out gypsies. The Kalbaliyas are snake charmers. In the past men would carry cobras in baskets from door to door while the women of the tribe danced for alms. Since the introduction of the Wildlife Act in 1972, they have been unable to use snakes in this man and are now mostly performers.
The combination of Markus’ music with the smiling faces, intricate dancing and colourful clothing of the Kalibaya women is so uplifting to watch. They are such skilled dancers it’s easy to see why Markus K made the trip to seek them out. It also explains why this video has been so popular, it’s been viewed over 4 million times on YouTube. Take a few minutes to enjoy it now.