Five members of Aussie band, The KingStones, have just dropped their latest single ‘Living With a Disability’ – a catchy pop/rap tune they all wrote to share their insight.
Getting inspirations for the band’s name from Kingston, a local suburb, in Logan, QLD, Juliet (Jewelz) 21, Nicholas (Nikki Drizzz) 21, Evangel (Voice of Evangel) 19, William (The Bill) 20, and Daniel (Dan) 21, are all NDIS participants adamant to prove there is no ‘dis’ in disability.
While some members experience a range of physical and psychosocial disabilities, this quintet is proof with the right supports you can follow your dreams.
KingStones manager/support worker, Kelvin Vaega said the KingStones formed when they finished Year 12, and all with a love for music, he and wife, Joan, saw a great opportunity to support these talented young adults.
“I’m a musician; Joan and I have also worked in disability for years, so it was just a natural progression for us to take these five talented artists under our wing and support them to show the world what they are truly capable of,” he said.
“Their creativity and enthusiasm is just infectious, and their quest to write lyrics about their personal journeys and express them through music is just so powerful.
Kelvin and Joan have been working with the KingStones for a year, providing a five-day a week program for band members, which includes music, health and everyday life skills.
“These are the main three pillars we focus on,” Joan said.
“We provide music remedy programs, which help band members connect with others, understand each other, and express their emotions.
“Then we have a health and wellness program where we work on improving each band members overall health and wellbeing.”
Kelvin said another important facet to the KingStones is giving band members “vibrant, realistic, no cover-up, lessons” on issues young adults face today.
“We cover topics like cyber bullying, personal hygiene, literacy and budgeting,” he said.
“We take a holistic approach, reiterating what is done day in, day out. This helps band members integrate better into their community and feel more accepted, and it’s all made possible with their NDIS community inclusion funding,” he said.
All the KingStones’ expressed how the NDIS has been life-changing in supporting them to follow their dreams, and to enjoy being part of the band, in the hope they make it big.
Each member also expressed how much love and admire Kelvin and Joan, and how they feel like second parents, actively listening to them, sharing ideas and supporting them to continue to build their talent, life skills and self-esteem.
Two female lead vocalists, Evangel and Juliet, said they especially love singing.
“I’ve loved singing since I was a little kid, and being part of the KingStones is a dream come true,” Evangel said.
Juliet said, “Being part of the KingStones is beautiful. I want to be with these guys for the rest of our lives. I’m just so grateful.”
“Growing up with a disability hasn’t been easy for the KingStones so to be able to express themselves through music is a beautiful thing,” Kelvin said.
“Their abilities and enthusiasm really drives us. It makes us even more determined to make sure we can support them all to be successful.”