A competition to find the best young buskers has found a winning combination for both shopping malls and for the entertainers.
The competition saw hundreds of hopefuls audition at malls in Auckland, providing some up and coming talent on show for shoppers.
Music producer Gray Bartlett describes busking as the "first step forward" for many stars.
"You'd be amazed how many actually become great stars just out of the first effort of getting up on stage," Bartlett told ONE News.
The competition was won by Michael Murray who gets the chance to record a song which will feature on Bartlett's next album.
Runner-up Holly Christina says busking is tough but "you just have to keep getting out there".
She says the key to it is interacting with the audience and picking songs that they can relate to.
"You've got to just have fun and smile."
And those who didn't win prizes in the competition are unperturbed. They're out busking on the streets and reaping the rewards tipped into their hats.
One busker, Tayla Alexander, said putting herself out in public was worth it.
"The money I'm starting to earn now is going towards my dog cause he's a bit sick," the young singer said.