Autistic rapper's bizarre dream to become international music installation for the Paralympics (From News Shopper)
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Autistic rapper's bizarre dream to become international music installation for the Paralympics
For most of us, surreal and bizarre fantasies remain simply that.
But when autistic rapper Dean Rodney awoke from a wild dream about a digital collaboration between musicians all over the world, he refused to let it lie.
Instead, the 23-year-old from New Cross put his incredible fantasy into a song – his favourite way of communicating – and making it a reality has been commissioned by the Olympics.
The Dean Rodney Singers will see 72 musicians and dancers from seven countries create 23 original songs, dance routines and videos for use at an interactive installation at Southbank Centre.
The artists, some of which have learning disabilities, are currently putting the finishing touches to the project from their home countries of Japan, China, South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Croatia and the UK.
People will be able to have a go at remixing the songs, create their own dance routines, make music videos which will be uploaded to YouTube or simply learn more about the project when it’s up and running from August 31.
Dean, who flew out to meet all of the band members in a two-month tour, told Vibe: “It started in my dream.
“The music has been quite electronic – I compare it to music in video games.
“When I had my dream I thought ‘it’s like a TV show’.
“It was a yeeha moment.”
Dean, who has been rapping for about 10 years, goes to Deptford-based creative arts company Heart ‘n Soul which allows people with learning disabilities to express themselves through making music.
He added: “I write lyrics about things I like, like food and girls.
“I told my mentor about the Dean Rodney Singers through a song I wrote – I can express myself and communicate through music.”
Dean never imagined his ambitious dream may not become reality.
Sandra Reynolds, communications officer at Heart ‘n Soul, said: “It’s a real honour for us to be working with Dean.
“This is so different and so unique – it could really only come from someone like Dean.
“It just shows someone with a different point of view can create something amazing which would be unimaginable to most people.
“We always want to make things happen and Dean really had such a clear vision, even down to the different countries he wanted to include.
“It made the whole process a lot easier – we just could not have done this without Dean.
“He has a different way of seeing the world.
“More things seem possible to him and that should be celebrated.”
Dean’s mammoth international project has been given huge support from the British Council, which helped discover the international band members.
The unusual interactive installation – featuring superhero robots and mysterious creatures - is part of the Paralympics.
At Heart ‘n Soul, Dean is co-songwriter and front man of The Fish Police, a band which mixes rap, funk and punk to create a unique sound with an urban edge.
As well as the Dean Rodney Singers, Heart ‘n Soul artists will be involved in a number of events across the Paralympic period.
They are also starting All Sorts, new creative sessions for adults with learning disabilities.
For more information visit heartnsoul.co.uk
Visit deanrodneysingers.com for more on the project and band members.