GGK (aka The One-Armed Bandit)
Over the weekend HCM caught up with a very intriguing rap artist by the name of GGK, who also commonly refers himself as “The One-Armed Bandit”. GGK is what you’d call a hippie styled rap artist who doesn’t know the meaning of “you can’t do it”… Check out his interview to learn more about what drives GGK and how he began his journey.
HCM. How did you come by your stage name?
GGK. So I have had a huge range of nicknames in the past,
from Kuku to Dakota, but my favorite is one that isn’t too hard to understand if you know me… is “The One-Armed Bandit”. This is because I am a disabled rapper who (believe it or not) has One working arm. The name is obviously representative of my disability but also holds a double meaning In relation to the old ‘One-Armed Bandit’ Gambling Machines. I liked the idea that every-time someone supports my music, they are gambling on me to succeed with their time; like putting a coin in me and pulling my arm, because you never know how far that support might push me!
Now onto my most known name… GGK
So, a close group of friends in Sheffield called me was Green Kai as there were two Kai’s in the group and they recognized I smoked a substantial amount of green (shout out the Sheffield Bois). My Instagram account at the time was @greenguy420, as I wasn’t a public rapper, but an aspiring public cannabis enthusiast and advocate (Big up Dank of England and RIP Black The Ripper).
When I started releasing music, I decided that I liked the idea of having Green Guy in my name as I always called people my GG, and I liked the concept that ‘Green Guy’ is more than a name, but a title, like Mr or Ms or Dr or Mrs.
This meant anyone can be a Green Guy or Girl if they lived the green life… that doesn’t mean just smoking green, but being more environmentally conscious and taking steps to help the planet.
In essence, I just mixed my old Instagram name with a nickname from my gang in Sheffield, but like all musicians I wanted my name to be more than letters. I’m not expecting people to listen to my music, or hear my name, and just decide to go vegan… that’s an absurd idea and I know my name can be seen as a gimmick… but if I can get someone’s attention for 3 minutes and maybe get them thinking and talking, then they iv don’t all I can as a Green Guy.
HCM. When did you discover your love for music and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
GGK. So I always had a love for music but I didn’t start properly writing until I had the motorcycle crash in 2015 that caused the loss of my left arm. I guess I didn’t have much inspiration to write until I had the trauma to write about. Trauma is kinda great for both giving you perspective and giving you realization. It helps you appreciate the things in your life that are going well, like family and the ones around you, and it helps you care less for material possession. Pain is my biggest Inspiration, and oxymoronically, is what gives me my love for music. What made me want to pursue music as a career was its vast impact on people, and it’s the ability to positively influence people generation after generation. This generation, and the next, just need the right influence. That’s why I want to pursue music.
HCM. To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
GGK. Although I take influence from Loyle Carner, Akala, Tom Misch, Eden… (the list goes on)
My music is not like any mainstream or underground artist.
My style is pure authenticity. I’m exactly what I say I am. I’m a one-armed, dreaded, hippie rapper, that has Irish, Jamaican, Portuguese and English blood, and although I was born and raised in East London, I spent the second half of my life in a small village, however now reside in Manchester to study psychology and pursue music, after being an apprentice mechanic.
To say I take anyone’s style or fit into one box isn’t possible… I’m quite diverse and adaptive.
HCM. On your current/upcoming album… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
GGK. My two Latest Releases ‘Adios’ & ‘Solo 4 So Long’ have had great responses. The former, Adios, is a favorite at live shows, and the latter is a track I wrote to an instrumental sent to me by my friend Callum Lawlor who produced it. He wanted me on the beat and within a few hours, I had it written. I got it recorded over the COVID-19 lockdown period using some home studio equipment and got my close friend and personal producer Reece Schaefer to do the finishing touches. It was a budget track. I didn’t want it all Hollywood, I wanted it sounding n looking rough but feeling smooth and chill. I used iPhone footage and made the music video myself as I wanted it to be as authentically as possible and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. You can stream both of these tracks NOW on all platforms!
HCM. What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
GGK. I would say the biggest challenge as an artist today is the consumption of music. A great artist today isn’t someone who makes great music but makes great music at a consistent rate. With the way the music world is, with Spotify and YouTube, you need to keep your supporters engaged otherwise they forget you!
My drive and work rate is due to me having no fear of failure. I am content failing 100 times for one win. If I release 100 tracks and one of them has a positive impact on someone’s life… that a win!
HCM. What impression would you like listeners to be left with after hearing your music?
GGK. I want my music to have a positive impact on people’s life. If they have a life-changing realization from my music, then that’s great, but if they take a smile or a thought away from it, that’s great too. Constant growth and compassion is my message, so if they take anything from my music it should be that.
HCM. What are your plans for the near future?
GGK. My plans are to complete my degree while continuing music. I aim to do more public speaking, with my ambition being a Tedtalk on mental health, but I also want to get into stand up as well as maybe one day do a music tour… I have a lot in mind! Big things coming I hope.
HCM. Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
GGK. Big up my family, my gang, and all my supporters! Big love to you all.
For more info and details about GGK, contact him via email:
Listen to his music and connect with GGK on social media: