Norfolk busker signs record deal and prepares for album launch

Alton Wahlberg at the Charles Burrell Centre acoustic music night. Picture: Archant

Alton Wahlberg at the Charles Burrell Centre acoustic music night. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

He is usually seen performing on our Norfolk streets but now a busker has set his sights on the top of the charts as he signs a record deal.

Alton Wahlberg, 35, started performing 10 years ago in Norfolk and Suffolk.

He has now signed a record deal with Ginger Dog Records and is releasing his first album Photographs and Memories on May 17.

The Thetford-born performer, known locally as The Bearded Busker, said: "It's such a nice feeling to know you have support and you have their backing.

"I was originally contacted last year by the label but at the time I wasn't that interested because I was doing okay independently.

"They reached out again and I went and met them and with the music industry changing so much it was so refreshing that when I spoke to them we were on the same level.

"I have had a lot of offers and most of the time they want to change you. Being my age as well it can be scary when most of the time they tell you have to be young to make it in the industry."

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As a solo artist he has already had success with his self-produced EP 1723 spending time at number one in the UK singer-songwriter charts.

Mr Wahlberg has also released an eBook, A Busker's Guide to Busking, offering advice to those who may not have done it before.

He added: "The very first time I went busking I was worried of being judged and obviously quite scared but you soon realise that no-one is paying any attention to you and you are providing nice background music for them as they go about their day and you shouldn't be scared and have fun.

"It's different every time you go busking. I have been to Norwich and made just £6 in two hours then I will go another day and make £92 in one hour. I couldn't pick a favourite place that I've busked but I have met a lot of people and heard some great stories."

Mr Wahlberg has performed all over the country but now hopes to perform more of his own music.

"I have done the pub gigs and weddings playing covers, performing the Ed Sheeran songs in the corner," he added, "but hopefully I can now do more of my own writings which is what I got into music for.

"I will see the reaction the album gets and hopefully take it from there."

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