Borga Cattanezi, "The Best Street Musician in the World", talks about street magic

Borga Cattanezi, “The Best Street Musician in the World”, talks about street magic

Borja Catanesi has been named “Best Street Musician in the World”. About the person who makes people dance even during Corona.



Photo from Life of Borga: India, February 2020.


© Provided by www.rollingstone.de
Photo from Life of Borga: India, February 2020.

Borja Catanesi has been named “Best Street Musician in the World”. About the person who makes people dance even during Corona.

In summer, the streets of many cities turn into blast furnaces. The sun pulsates on the asphalt and guitar strings. Heat waves are pushing through the alleys. Cars whistling, dogs barking, tire squeaking. Pedestrians cross each other as if they were drawn by an invisible rope. In winter, snow or biting winds push them from one place to another.

But when this young musician plays outdoors, they all stop, whether in Mumbai, Hamburg or Los Angeles, in summer or winter: Borga Catanesi from Valencia.

Most of the time he dances while playing and accompanies himself through the Loop Station. The web is littered with videos of people and even dogs interacting with his rhythms, singing or dancing with him in the streets around Borga.

Street musicians like Borja salute all of Europe. Borja became popular with live chariots and could even fill halls. But he doesn’t want to leave the streets. What drives it, what is the magic of “tugging,” outdoor play? We spoke to him via Zoom in Holland, where he currently resides.

Interview with Borga Kattanezi





© Provided by Rolling Stone


ROLLING STONE: You are well known on YouTube, you have hundreds of thousands of views, and your videos are wide. Can you still briefly tell us who you are?

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Borga Cattanezi: My name is Borga, 26 years old, traveler, guitarist, and street player. I love sharing my music with people and discovering new places in the process. I interact with people and the streets, documenting and uploading everything to social media to share the good vibes.



Borja loves to mix Latin American elements with funk and rock'n'roll. This attracts people all over the world.


© Provided by Rolling Stone
Borja loves to mix Latin American elements with funk and rock’n’roll. This attracts people all over the world.

How long have you been doing this?

My “career” began when I discovered at a metro station in Valencia that there was a socket in which I could plug a speakerphone (Laugh). In 2015 I won a street music competition and I was allowed to travel to New Zealand to meet other street musicians there. Inspired me. Then I started doing that, too. First with a small band, then alone.

Why street music?

Street music, music, make you feel free, you can play whenever you want. Nobody is judging you. Not all of them know you or expect something specific.

The street is a way of life. Sometimes from 0 to 200 people in ten minutes. And everything is dancing

And you live from it?

Yeah. Until now. It started with small buggies in Spain, Italy, and Germany. It went well, and I found: Well, that’s enough to make a living. For me, it is very important to be free and do what I want to do. Street music gives me that, I felt like the leader of my life. This keeps me here and now.



All that Borga needs to do his job is on the street.


© Provided by Rolling Stone
All that Borga needs to do his job is on the street.

Do people always react in the same way, regardless of whether they are in India or Germany?

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in fact yes. Even if the cultural difference is great, as it is in India. I was there last year. It’s interesting to see people who walk first and think, “What are you doing here, in the middle of the sidewalk?” Motorbikes almost knock and shoot at you. I don’t know, I like facing these strange situations. Unique things that are not very common. And in the end, they get really cool. For example, when suddenly an Indian sacred man, “Baba” or “Sado”, was dancing with me. As if it were completely normal.

I don’t need 5,000 people to feel real

Why are you still playing in the streets and not in the world’s theaters for so long? So if Corona does not prevent it.

People keep telling me, “You can get more famous and take the stage.” But I like playing outdoors. Personally, I don’t need 5,000 to be aware. I reach thousands of people with my videos. I like to bring true strength to the road. It’s a way of life: sometimes 0 to 200 people in ten minutes. And everything is dancing.

What kind do you play?

Funk, blues, rock and reggae. Reggae music has great timing, melodies darkening and rock and roll. Funk brings rhythm to the music. For example, you can play rock music in an unconventional way, and make it more cool.

In many of the videos you have different guitars. Which of them would you like to play with the most?

I love them all, but most of all is Fender Select Stratocaster. It’s a great.

In lockdown, the street is the only place you can still play live music

How does the life of a street musician change in lockdown?

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As for work: no shops or people, everything is closed. It is a big difference from before. Especially in the past four months. People are not in the centers. Somehow I only play in parks. The street is the only place where you can still play live music now.

In 2018, I won a big competition for street artists in Los Angeles. Out of 1,000 applicants, you reach the Final Round and beat your opponents in front of the jury. Your title at the time was “Best Street Musician in the World”. Has this changed you?

For me, the ride and appearance were a prize. At that point I wasn’t even aware of what was happening. It was only after I returned to Spain that I realized its size. A lot of people got to know me, I was on the news, TV, etc. That was a big push and it still motivates me to this day.

What are your plans for the future when they become possible again?

At the moment, I am still staying here in the Netherlands. But I would like to take a trip to South America or Indonesia. Maybe next year. Everything will appear.

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