If we were to gather up all the ‘if onlys’ of why people can’t pursue their dreams and turn them into water, the world would probably have another ocean. ‘If only I went to music school’, ‘if only my folks had Rihanna’s looks’….Hopefully the story of Brushy One String will help someone get up off their behind and begin to use their talent right where they are. If you don’t know this peculiarly named artist, he is a Jamaican blues singer who plays a guitar with only one string, which guitar experts say needs tuning. Now, there are one-stringed instruments, purposely created that way to be played by trained fingers. But when Brushy, born Andrew Chin, got his guitar, it had the full complement of 5 strings.
In a radio interview, he said that his parents bought him the guitar when he was a clueless kid who didn’t know better. He abused the instrument in fit of infantile energy leaving it with just the one string. After a while the guitar was forgotten, tossed under his bed to gather dust. Life carried on, and in its cruel twists and turns, took away both Brushy’s parents when he was still a child. But the seed of music they planted in him (both were singers) never died, and one day he had a dream in which a voice told him to pick up the guitar and return to music. And so he did. He dusted off the guitar and headed into the market to begin a musical journey that would take him beyond the boundaries of his home island, even to the other side of the world in Japan.
Sadly even after years of entertaining crowds, Brushy would return to modest living in his home town with little to show for his efforts. But he never let that quench the music in him; he kept playing with an open heart and big smile to anyone who would listen. One of them happened to be an American film maker who had just shooting a story on the struggles of three Jamaican artists. Brushy enthusiastically convinced him to listen while he played ‘Chicken In The Corn’. Though he had finished his work he couldn’t help but film Brushy when he heard the passion in his voice and saw his skill on the single-string guitar. This film ended up on Youtube and has so far received millions of hits. Whether or not social media will give this irrepressible talent another shot at international fame you can bet he’ll keep on singing.
Miami Based, Internationally Known