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Roberts settled in Colmenar to write and record after enjoying a career in Hamburg and Ibiza. G R Music
A musical journey from Hamburg and Ibiza to Malaga
In the frame

A musical journey from Hamburg and Ibiza to Malaga

Guy Roberts, a 59-year-old British musician, talks to SUR in English about his long career composing, recording and performing his music

Tony Bryant

Colmenar

Friday, 5 April 2024, 16:38

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The province of Malaga has secured itself as a favourite destination for digital nomads thanks to its climate, strategic location and high quality of life. It is also becoming extremely popular for musicians looking for a quiet location to live, where they can record their music while also having the benefit of the extensive live music scene that exists on the Costa del Sol and in inland towns.

One of these is Guy Roberts, a British musician and composer who, after spending a large part of his life living in Ibiza, now lives in Colmenar. The 59-year-old musician has set up a recording studio in his home, where he writes and records in what he calls an "idyllic setting", and he is also beginning to establish himself on the local live music scene.

Born in Farnham, Surrey, in 1965, Guy moved to Ibiza with his parents and his twin brother, Miles, in 1970.

The youngster's musical inspiration came from his uncle, a country and blues musician who had relative success in Scandinavia, especially in Denmark and Sweden.

"My uncle would turn up at our house and we would have these incredible parties where he would play and sing. He turned up one day on a motorbike with a guitar on the tank and a Swedish girl on the back, and I thought, this is the lifestyle I want," Guy tells SUR in English, bursting into laughter.

It was his "finger-picking" uncle who gave Guy and his brother their first guitars when they were just eight years old. He showed them how to tune the guitar, and taught them three chords, which was enough to get them started.

Guy's family moved back to the UK in 1979, but the budding musician never felt comfortable living outside Spain, which prompted his decision to return to Ibiza a few years later.

Cult status in Hamburg

He formed a band with his brother and they were soon spotted by a music manager, who invited them to go to Germany to make some demos that would eventually be released as records in Germany.

"The band was called Double Take. We never had a number one hit, but we did gain a cult status on the 1980s pop scene of Hamburg," the musician explains.

However, the band split up after Miles returned to live in the UK, but Guy stayed in Germany and got married and had a family, a marriage his parents opposed.

During the late 1980s and early '90s, he continued to perform and record, and his songs caught the attention of Warner Chappell Music, the global music publishing arm of the Warner Music group. Although he began writing songs destined for the charts, he says that he never really enjoyed it as much as live performance.

"I've enjoyed writing and recording over the years, but this is really secondary, as my main passion is performing live. They wanted me to write songs for the German charts, but it was a very backward way of making music, because you would be keeping an eye on what the charts were doing, hoping that you could break into that. I found it odd," he says.

Teaming up with Ibiza-based composer and keyboard player Johnny Hockin, Guy recorded his first solo album in Ibiza in 2020, which he says is "like a diary" that describes "turbulent times". Prior to the recording, Guy had been preparing to perform in Italy at the coveted Live Nation concert, but the pandemic struck, which prompted him to start working on the recording.

At home in Colmenar

It has taken him less than three years to settle into his new surroundings, setting up a recording studio in his home so he can continue doing what he loves most, making music. He has certainly settled into the local way of life, while enjoying all the aspects that it offers.

"I am completely at home sitting in a café with all the din and paper on the floor. The louder, the better. I am completely happy in these surroundings, so when it was time to move, mainland Spain was the obvious choice," he says.

Guy Roberts can be seen performing at Eddy's Music Factory (Churriana) on Friday 12 April.

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