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Busking for votes in Mayor of London's Big Busk competition
A budding Leytonstone busker is competing with over 200 other Londoners to win the Mayor of London’s Big Busk competition.
Lewis Hooper, 19, of Whipps Cross Road, has played at the O2 arena foyer, Victoria station and Westfield shopping centre over the past three weeks in a bid to get enough votes to go through to the final on September 8.
Mr Hooper, who saved up and bought his first guitar when he was 11, has only recently found the confidence to play in public.
"I've always been interested in music," said Mr Hooper, who was brought up listening to Prince.
He said: "Both my mum and dad listened to Prince so that was the constant sound when I was growing up."
This competition is the first time Mr Hooper has busked but he has been pleased with the reaction he has had.
He said: "Some people look and smile and walk away.
"The people who have stayed and listened have danced along and taken pictures.
"That's been really nice.
"One lady who really got into one song filmed me on her phone."
If he wins, Mr Hooper will get a busking license, music equipment and the opportunity to record his music in a professional studio.
"I just want to be able to perform more," said Mr Hooper.
Mr Hooper, who writes his own songs, is hopeful he can get enough votes but says the competition is fierce.
He said: “They are really good.
"There’s a lot of talent.
"A few of the people are definitely top quality.”
Voting comes to an end on August 30 so cast your votes now at www.gigsbigbusk.com/vote
To watch a video of Lewis click on the link below