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‘Guy One’: The Fascinating Story of the Ghanaian Shepherd Turned International Music Star

Performing internationally in front of an audience that adores you is always a special moment for any musician artist. But when you’re a singer who grew up in northern Ghana without education, and spent a lifetime raising cows and goats, the moment is tasty. This is the case of Guy One, an artist with a very original career.

Originally from the village of Bolgatanga in the north of Ghana, Guy One, who had only his flock of cattle and goats for the public, became in five years a national figure in his country. And for good reason, he managed to export his art in West Africa and especially in Europe. Result: the man goes on concerts for a few years. It occurs not only in his native Ghana, but also in Nigeria, Benin, Ivory Coast and even Germany, where he has a large audience.

From the meadows of Bolgatanga to the European concert halls, the old bouvier’s course looks like a fairy tale. When the musician did not accompany his flock, he performed in traditional burial or wedding ceremonies. It will be, at first, a name at the local level. It is his meeting with the German producer Max Weissenfeldt that will give another dimension to the hitherto “discrete” benefits of the man.


The owner of the Philophon label, who has been going to Ghana regularly since 2010, comes across the charm of Guy’s “haunting” voice after listening to a CD. Packed, the Berliner decides to find him. Weissenfeldt chose to take the percussionist to a studio in Berlin. This is the beginning of a collaboration that will be fruitful. From this association released a first album, “# 1”, deemed “brilliant” by the music critics. The Ghanaian TV will award, late 2017, the prize of the traditional artist of the year.

“# 1 is the sound of a man, a culture, a community and an interaction between all those who have grown over the decades. From there, it is a record that burst into life, as if a portal opened on a musical world hitherto unknown, “comments a German music magazine.

The former breeder who writes and plays music Frafra, a musical style based on a blend of blues and traditional rhythms, claims to be able to summon the invisible world of spirits. “Some old people swear that if they die, they do not want their bodies to be buried before I can make their eulogy,” reveals to the German press the one who is also nicknamed “Second Jesus”.

“At this moment, our turner is calling us almost every day with a request for additional dates. I think we’re going to do about 40 concerts in Europe this year, “Max Weissenfeldt enthuses in a local newspaper column.


Written by How Africa

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