Dublin is a city full of music, arts, and a vibrant cultural scene. Buskers line the inner city streets bringing their talents and relaxing melodies to busy shoppers and office workers. Here are five you should know about.
Inner city Dublin has one of the most vibrant and varied busking scenes you’ll find in any big European city. If you’re in the city, here are five Dublin buskers you need to watch out for.
Throughout the years, some of Dublin’s most well-known buskers have gone on to foster successful careers in the global music industry, rising from the city streets with their guitars on their backs to topping the charts not only in Ireland but around the world.
Some big names have included the likes of some of Ireland’s best singers, like Glen Hansard, who co-wrote and starred in Once (2007), Damien Rice, Hozier, and Kodaline, among many others.
The talent in the city is truly undeniable, with new buskers finding their home in the city almost every day. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, read on. Today, we’re revealing the top five most iconic Dublin buckers you need to watch out for right now.
- Dublin is a city full of music, arts, and a vibrant cultural scene. Buskers line the inner city streets bringing their talents and relaxing melodies to busy shoppers and office workers. Here are five you should know about.
- 5. Keywest (@keywestofficial) – rising from the streets to gain a global following
- 4. Declan Walsh – the best spoon player in the city
- 3. Jacob Koopman (@jakumaru) – an Indo-Dutch busker with a passion for music and the Dublin busking community
- 2. Padraig Cahill (@padraigcahill_music) – check out this debut single
- 1. Saibh Skelly (@saibhskellymusic) – one of the most iconic Dublin buskers you need to watch out for
5. Keywest (@keywestofficial) – rising from the streets to gain a global following
Kicking off our list of iconic Dublin buskers you need to watch out for is the Irish pop-folk band Keywest. Comprised of four friends, Andrew Kavanagh, Andrew Glover, Luke Murphy, and Conor Ray, the band was formed in Dublin all the way back in 2009.
Impressing passersby on the city streets, Keywest has gone on to enjoy a relatively successful career over the past 15 years, gaining a dedicated fanbase in locations across Ireland, the UK, Europe, and the States.
It was during their time busking on Grafton Street that the band really rose to prominence, gaining numerous radio plays and theatre performances.
Achieving over 20 million online streams, the band caught the attention of various record labels and is now signed to Marshall Records in Europe and Eleven Seven Records in the US.
Staying true to their roots, the band still perform on Grafton Street from time to time. So, if you’re lucky enough, you might catch them while out exploring the city.
4. Declan Walsh – the best spoon player in the city
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, you need to experience a performance by Declan Walsh, one of our favourite Dublin buskers.
Deviating from the norm, Walsh isn’t known for his beautiful singing voice and impressive guitar playing. Rather, he has made a name for himself playing a more unconventional instrument: the spoons. Yes, you read that right.
Walsh has been keeping the people of Dublin entertained since 2009 and has gained a reputation as one of the city’s most beloved buskers. If you get a chance to witness a performance, we highly recommend stopping to take it in.
Showing such impressive rhythm with his makeshift instrument, it will come as no surprise that Walsh used to play the drums. However, a work accident resulted in him losing one arm, which unfortunately put an end to his drum-playing days.
Undeterred, he decided to channel his musical talent in a new and creative way…and thank goodness he did!
3. Jacob Koopman (@jakumaru) – an Indo-Dutch busker with a passion for music and the Dublin busking community
Jacob Koopman started busking back in 2012 and has gained quite a reputation for himself in Dublin city centre.
Born in Java, Indonesia, Koopman has experience busking in various cities around the world but decided to settle in Dublin, thanks to the friendly community nature of the city’s busking scene.
Over the past 12 years, he’s gained a huge following to become one of the most iconic Dublin buskers you need to watch out for.
Drawing huge crowds and attention from across the city, he has had the opportunity to perform with well-known names such as Gavin James, Lewis Capaldi, and Niall Horan.
With a passion for music, Koopman has gained an impressive online following, posting live streams every Tuesday and Thursday. If you want to catch him in real life, he can be found around the Brown Thomas area of Grafton Street.
2. Padraig Cahill (@padraigcahill_music) – check out this debut single
Hailing from County Wicklow, Padraig Cahill has been busking on Dublin’s streets since 2019. Immediately impressing passersby, Cahill quickly made a name for himself on the city’s busking scene, gaining a huge online following.
Since then, he has had the opportunity to perform in various well-known Irish venues such as The Sound House and The Ruby Sessions.
He has also performed alongside other well-known Irish musicians, including Glen Hansard and Allie Sherlock, who were blown away by his talents.
With a young and fresh perspective and unique Irish charm, it is no surprise he quickly became so popular.
Right now, he is honing his music skills at the Cork School of Music and is working on new music that is due to be released in the coming months.
He released his debut single ‘These Streets’ in October 2023. The song is melancholic and tackles many relevant issues, such as homelessness and the housing crisis. So, go give it a listen if you want to discover what it’s all about!
1. Saibh Skelly (@saibhskellymusic) – one of the most iconic Dublin buskers you need to watch out for
With a young and fresh sound, Saibh Skelly is one of the most talented musicians to come out of Ireland in recent years.
She began her busking career on the streets of Dublin aged just 15 and quickly impressed audiences in the city, causing her online following to grow steadily over the past few years.
When COVID hit, Skelly was forced to halt her in-person busking gigs, deciding to invest in a home video camera and upload her covers to YouTube. This took off incredibly quickly as people from all over the world fell in love with her beautiful voice and unique style of music.
Performing covers of her favourite artists, including Lewis Capaldi and Billie Eilish, her online following steadily grew, and she now has over 80,000 followers on Instagram.
Most of her music is posted online now. However, she still performs on the Dublin streets from time to time, so if you’re lucky, you might catch her when you’re out and about.