“My name is Mike Yung and I am a subway singer from New York City. I was signed to RCA at 14, then T.Electric with the likes of Etta James and Luther Vandross. The label went bankrupt and I never got my debut album out. I’ve spent the past 38 years in the subway busking and making a living while supporting a family in the projects of Brownsville.”
Mike’s story is one filled with beauty and darkness. For the past 37 years he’s been waking up in Brownsville NY which is considered the most dangerous project in all of Brooklyn. He rides an hour and half each way into the city to busk in the subways in order to support a family. With people carrying less and less cash these days, he makes an average of $40 per day. He usually sings for 3-4 hours or until his voice goes out. Lately he’s been getting more hugs than tips. Mike has been stabbed 9 times and jumped by gangs over the years, but none of this has proven enough to stop him from chasing his dreams.
Mike Yung is a 56-year-old subway singer from Brooklyn, New York. As a teenager, he was discovered and signed as an artist to RCA and CBS before eventually landing at T-Electric, the same label as Luther Vandross. Things were looking up for Yung as he geared up to become a household name, but suddenly the label went bankrupt and his debut album was never released.
Yung was forced to find a way to make a living to support his family, he literally took his talent underground and began entertaining commuters in the New York subway. For close to 4 decades, Yung’s voice has been reverberating throughout the walls of the NYC subway system. As he inches closer to his dream of finally releasing his first debut album, here are 3 interesting Mike Yung facts you probably didn’t know.
His Band Is Called The Majestic K-Funk:
Most people know Mike Yung from his stint at the America’s Got Talent show. Few people know he is the lead singer of the Majestic K Funk – a Motown style blues & funk band with powerful vocals and a soulful sound that has been performing in NY since the 70s. They have worked with great artists as Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller, and Jaco Pastorius
His First Single “Alright” Was Released Last Month:
Mike Yung has commenced work on his debut album, “Never Give Up”, something he has been waiting his whole life for. This came after a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $90,000. The album’s first single, “Alright,” has been released and is currently available on all music platforms
Sold Out His Very First Show:
After a successfully raising funds for his debut album, Mike went on to organize his first show at the Mercury Lounge in the Lower East Side section of New York City. The show coming up on the 28th of July is already sold out!
Bonus: Mike Yung was born on November 15, 1959. That birthdate makes him a Scorpio, which means he is likely to be a smooth guy who’s got the confidence that can only come from knowing who he truly is, because he’s taken the time to discover everything about himself.
Street music has probably been around as long as there have been streets.
The economics of playing for music next to an open guitar case has an ancient simplicity. There is no middleman, no stockholder, and no investment bank involved in the process; just a pure and direct exchange between artist and audience, and this might be why street music is so important.
Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performance is practiced all over the world and dates back to antiquity. People engaging in this practice are called street performers or buskers.