Inspirational Hip Pop Artists Ijay Swanepoel (aka Stephen Gawking, aka The Nuclear Lyricist) suffers from the Progressive Neuromuscular Disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1.
Rather than be discouraged by his disabilities and challenges, Ijay uses his music project to be a symbol of hope and inspiration to those who are disabled, different, oppressed, bullied, and everyone in-between.
With August being Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness-and-Pride Month, and to pay tribute to his late sister Andria who tragically passed away in 1994 at the age of 5 from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1, Ijay collaborated with Eduan, Kat & Kulax to release ‘Andria The Angelic’.
The song is a reflection on the impact that her death had on him and his family, as well as a message of hope and resilience as reminder that even in the face of tragedy, there is always beauty to be found.
Stephen Gawking comments on “Andria The Angelic”
“The message behind this song is that even though we may lose loved ones, they will always be with us in our hearts. It serves as a reminder that love is eternal, and that it can help us to overcome any obstacle. It was inspired by me and my parents longing for my sister. Andria was a special person, and her death had a profound impact on us as a family.”
“The song is a way for me to express my feelings of survivor’s guilt and growing up without my sister, and to honour her memory. The song is also a way for me to share my story with others, and to offer hope and inspiration to those who are facing similar challenges.”
“The song is universally relatable because it speaks to the universal human experience of loss and grief. The song is a reminder that we are all connected, and that we all share the same pain when we lose someone we love, even in the darkest of times, there is always hope.”
You can stream Stephen Gawking’s “Andia The Angelic” HERE.
Stephen Gawking shares more info about SMA Awareness and Pride Month
“August is SMA Awareness and Pride month, and it’s been part of our family since 1989, when my sister Andria was born. Having pride in it was something I struggled with a lot growing up, even to this day, but I have come to accept it more and found pride in it being my cross to carry without ever giving up.”
“However, it’s not easy, and some days it gets me down, but never out. My SMA is type 2 and not as progressive as type 1 which my sister Andria had, but still progressive, and that means I will keep getting weaker as I get older. That is the worst and scariest part of it.”
“I cannot speak for others living with similar disabilities, but for me the number one method for coping has always been my imagination. TV, films, and music have always been my therapy. I for instance relate so much to the X-Men.”
“The ‘Mutant’ gene does not discriminate, no matter colour or creed, anyone can have it. The ‘Mutants’ are a minority in society, and seen as different, or not normal. Every ‘Mutant’ can go the way of Magneto, which is bitter and hateful path, or be like Professor X, the way of understanding, or trying at least. Professor X understands the best way to treat ignorance is education on who and what the minority is, and vice versa.”
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