Music is said to bring people from all walks of life together, but it’s not often that you see a fully inclusive cast of singers all in one song – and even featuring in the same music video.
As part of the National Council of Social Service’s See The True Me campaign for disability inclusion, ‘Fire in the Rain’ presents a colourful mix of local star power and burgeoning talents who overcame obstacles to shine on stage.
We had the opportunity to speak to one of the featured artistes, homegrown rapper ShiGGa Shay, about how it was like working with director Royston Tan, singer-songwriter Don Richmond alongside the ensemble of impaired yet talented performers – which includes visually impaired lead singer Adelyn Koh and rapper Danial Bawthan aka Wheelsmith who has muscular dystrophy – for this meaningful project.
Hi ShiGGa! How did this collaborative effort for ‘Fire In The Rain’ come about?
Director Royston Tan approached me about collaborating with Don Richmond to create something that could change the misconceptions that society has about people with disabilities. I’ve always wanted to be part of a meaningful cause like See The True Me, so I’m really thankful that they roped me in for this project. It’s also been a while since I’ve put out new music.
There’s still a social stigma towards people with special needs that they wouldn’t be able to function normally as others. Having worked closely with Adelyn Koh and the rest – all equally talented at what they do despite their disabilities – how was your experience like working alongside them?
It was inspiring! A lot of people don’t realise the amount of talent and potential that people with disabilities have. I learned a lot while working with them.
Has your perspective in life and music changed after meeting these amazing people?
It has definitely motivated me in many ways. I want to be able to share the stories of persons with disabilities in every way I can. The best way to help would be to help bring awareness and slowly remove the social stigma that society has placed on them.
What do you think youths can do to make society more inclusive towards people from all walks of life?
We should seek to understand them. With a better understanding of our differences, we will realise how much we actually have in common.
If you could spearhead an initiative – be it in music or arts – to include disabled people one day, what would it be?
I would love to work on a project with Wheelsmith. His story is incredible!
What’s a piece of advice you would like to give young aspiring singers who wish to pursue a career in music?
Never lose passion for what you love no matter what other people tell you. Always believe in yourself, follow your dreams, work hard and stay focused.
Watch the full music video for ‘Fire in the Rain’ starring ShiGGa Shay below: