Wesseh Freeman, a.k.a Weesay, became an internet sensation last December for his badass strumming skills. His unique handmade guitar – cobbled together from an old stick, a paint can, and three used strings – caught the attention of brothers Nikhil and Sachin Ramchandani, the owners of O! Chips, a potato chips company in Liberia. So they asked him to write a jingle for their brand, and posted a video on the company’s YouTube channel. The two-and-a-half minute clip instantly went viral.
Weesay, 37, is blind and homeless. But that hasn’t affected his musical abilities in the least. The man is truly gifted, and that’s evident just from the guitar he managed to fashion for himself. According to Guitar World, “His frets are made from bike spokes or coat hangers and are apparently movable; yet he has a mastery of intonation. This instrument should be completely out of tune…but it’s not! Weesay plays it like a boss.”
“Being a fan of reggae music, Weesay has the frets set up mainly for I, IV, V chords and tunes his strings to a root, third and fifth for a major chord,” the report added. “This allows him the ability to play common reggae rhythms.”
Shortly after the video was posted, things got a bit better for the self-taught singer and composer. An American admirer sent him an Ovation-style guitar. The Ramchandani brothers later set up an Indiegogo campaign, to raise funds to help Weesay get his sight back and to buy a him a home. Although they had a goal to reach $70,000, the campaign only managed to collect about $1,000 in two months.
Weesay now has his own YouTube channel, with a few videos of him playing his beloved oil can guitar.
Via Guitar World