For a lot of us, our morning commute is the most stressful part of our day. Between still being tired and worries about being late, few of us have time to take in the buskers and performers and other artists that surround us as we make our way through the rat race.
And that’s really a shame—particularly when some of those artists are as talented as Damiyr. With an incredible voice that’s matched by good looks and confidence to boot, Damiyr is an extremely dynamic performer whose music would bring solace and warmth to any harried commuter. Every single day, his voice fills the space of New York City's 66th Street subway station—underground the city’s great performance space, Lincoln Center.
But like all people you pass on the subway or in the street, behind Damiyr’s outer façade lies another story entirely—and in his case, it’s one of incredible tenacity and endurance. When he was still a young child, Damiyr’s mother got caught up in drugs right around the time his father got shipped off to prison. Sent to live with his grandparents, Damiyr witnessed the abuse his grandfather inflicted on his grandmother, and experienced it himself when his grandmother transferred the abuse onto him. After he finally summoned the courage to stand up to her, she shipped him off to a group home—which, as you can imagine, was not a fun place.
While Damiyr’s story sounds like a tragic one, it is ultimately quite the opposite.
“There’s a lot of sadness, there’s a lot of pain that’s inside of me,” he says, “and music helps me get it out on a daily basis."
“It’s like medicine,” he adds. “It’s my medicine.”
And Damiyr’s music is not just healing for him. In the video above, he highlights one particular incident of many where his music connected him with a complete stranger who was very much in need. In this holiday season, it’s a beautiful reminder that we’re not all as far apart as we may seem, thanks to Damiyr and those like who him who endure so much to come out the other side as artists.
For more on Damiyr’s incredible New York musical life, and to catch his singing in action, be sure to watch the latest episode of Uncharted in the video above, presented by Honda.