Customers boarding a First bus driven by Roger Brady get more than a cheery hello – they could also be treated to an on-board musical performance.
If you are a regular traveller in the evenings on the 3/4 service from Cribbs Causeway to Bristol city centre or overnight on the service 48/49 form the city centre to Emersons Green, you will know that musician and composer Roger can be found belting out one of his tunes inspired by the stories of the people he encounters on his journeys.
Roger, 41, originally from St Catherine’s Parish in Jamaica, joined First when he moved to Bristol in 2008, and has been based at the Lawrence Hill depot since starting.
Performing under the stage name Jah Garvey, he has been creating and performing music since a young age. Since moving to the UK he has been developing his music by working with a series of producers in Bristol and performing at stage shows, festivals, carnivals and many venues around the country.
Roger’s music has now reached a new audience during the pandemic. His latest hit ‘Brand New Day’ has struck a chord with the people of Bristol and beyond, racking up more than 3,000 hits on YouTube. The track is an upbeat celebration of all the people who have carried on working through the pandemic.
Roger says: “I find my work as a driver a real inspiration for my music. For me, it is about supporting people by representing their lives through music and being able to encourage happiness and personal growth in every person I meet.
“One of the routes I regularly drive is the service 48/49, it’s a journey that is always full of both familiar and new faces. Everyone who boards has a story to tell, not everyone will tell you their story, but you can catch moments of people’s lives passing by.
“I have been creating music for a long time now. It’s my passion, and each song has the potential to have an impact on people’s lives. Brand New Day is about telling the story of workers, whatever their field, and the richness of everyday life when we are at work: something that I personally get to experience fully as a driver.”
James Freeman, managing director of First West of England said: “We are fortunate to have so many talented people join us as colleagues from all different backgrounds, and Roger is no exception. It’s extremely important to us as a company to support talent across the board. His passion and talent for music is an inspiration, especially during the tough time that everyone has had this year.”
The music video for Jah Garvey’s latest hit Brand New Day is available to watch on YouTube.