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Connor Brown: From lockdown blues to Milford minstrel

Flagstaff Team

Guitar man… Connor Brown is honing his musical skills performing on Milford Beach

Connor Brown’s job went “under the bus” due to Covid-19, but a love of music is helping the 24-year-old stay positive.

Playing his guitar and sometimes breaking into song on Milford Beach fills the time around what casual IT work he can pick up.

The former Westlake Boys High School student and University of Otago commerce graduate is becoming a familiar sight to passersby at the marina end of the beach, often playing in the evenings. He has taken his talents to other East Coast Bays beaches, one time pulling a crowd of around 40 to 50 people with an impromptu show near the Browns Bay skatepark.

Connor doesn’t play for money – it’s all about polishing his skills with the hope of one day turning a hobby into something more.

Having played piano for nearly 20 years, he took up guitar around six months ago and sings along with tunes that suit his higher-pitched voice. Covers of Ed Sheeran and James Blunt are part of his repertoire, but he has also adapted a rap song to a softer style. He is also working on a few originals.

Connor says the sound of the waves and the view are his drawcard to the beach.

Like many in his age group hit by job losses he has moved home, living with his father for now. “It’s tough times, but I’m optimistic,” he says.

This article originally appeared in the 7 July 2020 edition of the Rangitoto Observer.

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