Artist, composer, guitarist and creative powerhouse Ricky Sharma aka Ricky On Guitar originally from East London has worked with a legion of artists from both the UK and USA, has had single releases with hit making producers TMS, and Grammy award winning T-Wiz (Chris Brown, Frank Ocean, and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.)
Ricky has performed everywhere from Glastonbury and the Hammersmith Apollo, to the London Olympics in 2012, and shared the stage with the likes of Professor Green, DJ Ironik, The Elements (nominated best band for two consecutive years at Brit Asia Music Awards), and toured extensively worldwide.
November 2014 saw the release of his first single collaborative 'The Rise' from the upcoming EP 'Chapter 2', which peaked at No 8 in the iTunes World Music Charts.
Ricky writes this exclusive article for ABLE2UK…
I grew up with my disabled uncle, Surinder Sharma, who lived with us and we cared for him until he passed away in 1994
He was like my second father who was quite inspirational in his own story
Born in 1933 in Kenya Nairobi he fell ill with malaria and then due to lack of hospital support and care, lost the strength in his legs at a tender age of 14 leaving him paralysed from waist downwards. There was not much additional support he received from local government (in comparison to what people would have today here in UK) so he was unable to complete his education. However, he was a driven person and didn't let this stop him from achieving something with his life. As he was unable to use his legs he started to use the skills he had with his hands and taught himself the basics in electrical engineering. This skill and aptitude earnt him an apprenticeship to study electrical engineering in Holland specialising in camera, tv, video and hi fi repairs.
He then returned back to Kenya and started work for a subsidiary of Cannon. This eventually led to him opening up a successful business with my father called Prots Enterprises - with my father concentrating on sales side and my uncle carrying out technical side. They both moved to East London in early 1972 and quickly developed a well-respected business which at one stage was main high street brand - Dixons - main competitor.
My uncle never let me feel he had a disability as he was able to drive an automatic car utilising self-made apparatus which fitted to the breaks and accelerator which he could operate with his hands at dashboard level.
He eventually taught himself to read and write and carried out numerous Open University courses.
He always believed in challenging yourself and encouraged me to do so. He bought me my first guitar and told me the follow my dreams and never give up. He treated me like his own son, not just a nephew and I loved him very much.
Now whenever I feel like my struggle or life is getting tough, just like it does for everyone, I always think of him, his positive words of encouragement and what he had to endure every day of his life since the age of 14, but coped independently and impeccably. This now brings out a steely determination in anything I do - something I am forever grateful to him for.
You can listen to ‘Young Girl’ on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/rickyonguitar/young-girl-feat-mclean
RickyOnGuitar- EP release for 'Chapter 2' is released on 28th September 2015 at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/chapter-two-ep/id1024616497
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