A LONG term cancer patient at Guy’s Hospital has signed his first album contract at the age of 81.
Rex Martey, from Sydenham, south London, has performed in pubs and clubs across London for more than 60 years.
He said: “This is a dream come true for me because I have been singing and playing sax for a long time. But my health has been deteriorating for many years and I have been coming to Guy’s as a patient since 1983.”
Rex, who has prostate cancer, is under the care of Guy’s renal and urology services and has dialysis three times a week. His condition is currently stable.
He said: “Every treatment has been done! You name it, Guy’s and St Thomas has sorted it out. The care has been brilliant. I have had more health problems than any other person I know and it’s always been sorted.
“I always say to people, if it wasn’t for Guy’s and St Thomas’ I would be dead.
“Ten years ago my health was deteriorating and 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. With this album, which is called African Touring Holiday, I truly am realising my dreams.
“I’m originally from Ghana and the music I play in the old days was called High Life. High Life didn’t used to be popular but now the second generation of Africans have adopted it.
“Nowadays the young people have a different name for it – Afrobeat. It comes from West Africa.”
Rex has signed a distribution deal for African Touring Holiday with a label called The Animal Farm Music. The album has 10 tracks and one track is dedicated to the nurse who has primarily cared for him at Guy’s Louisa Fleure, lead urology clinical nurse specialist at Guy’s.
Rex added: “One day I was coming home from the hospital and I was thinking about how sweet and how helpful Louisa was, and such a lovely lady. I told my wife that I wanted to write a song about her and she was happy with that. The song is called ‘My Louisa’.
A quarter of the sales of African Touring Holiday, which costs £7 per album, will go to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
The charity raises money to make the Trust’s life-saving care go above and beyond; from big things to small touches that help patients and their families feel looked after. Find out more and donate here
African Touring Holiday is available on Bandcamp here as well as Amazon. The album and tracks are also on Spotify.