Guy’s Cancer patient and Afrobeat artist releases charity records

A long term patient of Guy’s Cancer, Rex Martey, has released a charity single to support the work of NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. This follows an album release last year, which is also supporting Guy’s and St Thomas’.

A close up studio shot of a man in a hat smiling towards the camera
Rex Martey

Rex, who is originally from Ghana, is a singer and saxophonist. He has been performing in pubs and clubs across London for more than 60 years.

“The music I played in the old days was called High Life; nowadays the young people have a different name for it – Afrobeat,” says Rex, who has prostate cancer and is under the care of Guy’s renal and urology services.

The lyrics of the charity single ‘Thank you’, which is available on Bandcamp, find Rex, 82, writing as a patient suffering from coronavirus, who is looked after by a range of different people in hospital, from doctors and nurses, through to housekeeping and catering staff.

Rex worked on the single at home with his wife, who contributed backing vocals. The pair recorded parts of the song onto Rex’s phone, before sending it to his engineer who pieced the track together.

“I have been lucky enough to not catch coronavirus, but know how hard the staff have worked to make sure that vulnerable dialysis patients stay safe,” says Rex.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that without Guy’s and St Thomas’, I would not be here today.

“This song is my way of repaying some of the gratitude I feel towards those who have cared for me. That’s everyone, from the doctors to the cleaners. I can’t say thank you to everyone in person, so I will say it in song.”

An extract from 'Thank You'

Rex Martey's charity single about a patient suffering from coronavirus, who is looked after by a range of different people in hospital, from doctors and nurses, through to housekeeping and catering staff. 

This follows an album release last year, which is also supporting Guy’s and St Thomas’.

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Realising the dream

Rex made headlines in 2019 after securing his first record deal at the age of 81. His lifelong dream came true last August, with the release of his debut album African Touring Holiday.

“I remember saying to a clinician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ that I wanted to get an album out there, to show that I have been here,” says Rex. “With this album, I truly am realising my dreams.”

Rex the fundraiser musician with his muse, nurse Louisa
Rex the fundraiser musician with his muse, nurse Louisa

The album includes the single ‘My Louisa’, dedicated to Louisa Fleure, lead urology clinical nurse specialist at Guy’s. Rex wrote the song after reflecting how sweet and helpful Louisa was.

“I love the song, it’s absolutely brilliant,” says Louisa. “I’m really honoured that Rex did it, I think it’s lovely.”

All proceeds from the sale of ‘My Louisa’ on Bandcamp also go to Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Feeling inspired? Why not do your own fundraising?