• Playing a single-stringed guitar, the Jamaican artist Brushy One String held court in the intimate Studio space at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Hide caption
    Playing a single-stringed guitar, the Jamaican artist Brushy One String held court in the intimate Studio space at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
  • Brushy One String has become a viral sensation on YouTube, with more than four million views for his song "Chicken in the Corn."
    Hide caption
    Brushy One String has become a viral sensation on YouTube, with more than four million views for his song "Chicken in the Corn."
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

1 of 2

View slideshow i

globalFEST

Brushy One String 2014

Listen

Listen

Loading…

44:54
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/260175974/262785391" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

A YouTube sensation whose song "Chicken in the Corn" has received more than four million views, Jamaica's Brushy One String has captured listeners' imaginations with his stripped-down style, as he uses his rich baritone to accompany a beat-up, single-stringed acoustic guitar.

Born Andrew Chin, Brushy has deep musical roots: His father was Jamaican soul singer Freddy McKay, while his mother, Beverly Foster, sang backup for Tina Turner. But he had a hard time finding professional success until he was featured, almost tangentially, in a documentary about young Jamaican artists by filmmaker Luciano Blotta. After Brushy captured Blotta's imagination, his song "Chicken in the Corn" made it into the film — and then catapulted to viral success.

Given his nickname, you might think that Brushy's instrument is the most interesting thing about his performances. You'd be wrong; it's the way that he shapes and bends his vocal lines that captures your attention, and it instantly charmed the audience. His New York debut, made at globalFEST, wasn't all smooth sailing, however; he snapped his one string not long into the set. But as he said from the stage while waiting for his crew to swap out his signature one-string for a six-stringed guitar: "Sometimes music comes in the saddest ways."

SET LIST:
  • "Chicken In The Corn"
  • "Grey In My Blue"
  • "They Are Going Down"
  • "Life Is For Every Man"
  • "Mr. D.C./Judgment Time"
  • "Destiny"
  • "Boom Bang Deng/Wash Wash"
  • "No Man Stop Me"
  • "Picture On The Wall"
  • "War & Crime"
[+] read more[-] less

More From World

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Camané

A star in his native Portugal, Camané evokes melancholy with a silky baritone and elegant phrasing.

Colin Marshall /NPR

Tiny Desk

DakhaBrakha

The Ukrainian acoustic quartet's music encompasses sounds and rhythms from around the world.

Stromae proved to the audience at Stubb's in Austin why he's a major star just about everywhere but the U.S. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

SXSW Music Festival

Stromae, Live In Concert: SXSW 2015

Watch the international superstar perform for a legion of rhapsodic fans at our SXSW showcase.

Colin Marshall/NPR

Tiny Desk

Bio Ritmo

The 10-piece salsa band built its career on dance floors, where it never fails to make people move.

Rodrigo Amarante performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sarah Tilotta/NPR

Tiny Desk

Rodrigo Amarante

A veteran of Little Joy and Los Hermanos, Amarante makes warm, tender music as a solo artist.

Yasmine Hamdan performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in April 2014. Jim Tuttle/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Tuttle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Yasmine Hamdan

The Lebanese singer-songwriter is one of the most groundbreaking musicians in the Middle East.

Back To Top