My Story

My Story

My story with music started when I was about three years old, and I watched a concert DVD of Jean Michael Jarre,” Oxygene Live in Moscow.” Watching this guy playing a variety of keyboards left a huge impression on me. From that moment I wanted to play piano. When I was six years old, my parents were watching the Ozzy Osborne Live at Budokan concert on DVD. When I saw Zakk Wylde playing his guitar in front of a crowd of thousands, I knew that’s what I
wanted to do. I pointed to the TV and said, “I want to be like that guy” and I never looked back.

Music has played a crucial role in my life. It has provided solace during all the challenges I have faced. Throughout my life, I have dealt with intolerance and rejection due to being born with some facial differences. As a child, I underwent a number of surgeries. While recovering, I would listen to music as well as study the engineering and figure out what gear the musicians used and how I could replicate those sounds myself.

By the time I was in the 4th grade, my teachers recognized my talent and provided a platform for me to express myself. Performing in school concerts enabled my peers to a see a different side of me and they became more accepting. Then, while performing at a jazz festival in high school, I was offered an opportunity to audition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I got accepted and was awarded a scholarship.

When I got to college, it was like starting all over again with having to prove myself and my abilities. I worked harder than ever to show that even though I look different, I have talent and skill. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance.

The main point I want to make is to never give up. Even with the hardship I faced, I have still been able to work with bands and network with people who recognize my talent and don’t judge me because of my appearance. If you keep trying and looking you will find people who see your potential. I have the pleasure of working with some awesome musicians and engineers who love my music and working with me. I’ve taught people who appreciate my knowledge and are very supportive of my music. I have great friends from my hometown and college, and now I am making music and videos that are on major platforms like YouTube, iTunes and Spotify. Music is what got me through all the surgeries and bullying. It showed people that I’m not just some
different looking disabled person. It’s a way to get lost in your own world, unleash your stress, and turn it into something constructive.

The one thing I want people to take away from my story is. You can never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something that you know you can do. Never let the judging and bullying put you down. It’s hard and sometimes I still let it get to me, then I think about where I am, how I got here and how thankful I am to be here. I hope my story inspires other kids and people in the same situations, and I hope it opens the eyes of the rest of the population.