A SINGER who started out busking on the streets of Croydon said it was "surreal" to be rubbing shoulders with the stars last week when he appeared on Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show.
Si Cranstoun spent years performing in North End, often with his brother Tyber, and met his wife Tamu at that time.
But success evaded him until he landed a £1million record deal with music giants Warner in April 2013.
In June, the first single from his new album was playlisted by the BBC, with DJ Evans so impressed that Si was invited to perform live on his show last Friday.
"It was amazing, going in the BBC building and just experiencing all that is there and meeting Chris Evans," said Si, 38, who lives in Caterham.
"All of a sudden he's sat with headphones on at a desk over from you, it's kind of surreal actually. He was really nice, and, more importantly, a big fan of my music, I was flattered."
Friends and family have all been congratulating him but Si said he now feels the pressure to deliver for them.
"My mum was in tears when she heard me on the radio," he said.
"My parents are very chuffed for me and proud. But I guess with that comes the pressure; I don't want to let them down."
Si, who performed in duo The Dualers with brother Tyber, added he couldn't quite believe how his career has taken off over the past few months.
He said; "It's completely surreal, I keep getting out of bed in the morning and pinching myself.
"At the same time, having a record deal doesn't guarantee anything. All I wanted to do is get out there and perform and not have to worry about getting the bills paid. Hopefully I'm one step closer to that."
Despite finding stardom, Si refused to rule out a return to performing on the street one day.
"People think that busking is a dirty word, as if you're down in the gutter, scrabbling for change, but it's not like that at all," he said.
"I loved busking and there is a magic about going out to the streets.
"I'll always have a soft spot for doing that kind of thing. I certainly don't feel I've got too good for it now.
"I met my wife, I met my manager doing it; it's always been a part of my life."
Si, who cites Jackie Wilson and Elvis Presley among his influences, is now putting the finishing touches to his album Modern Life, which is due out on October 13.
"I'm really proud of it," he said. "There's not one duff tune on there."