When Ky Lovell plays music, he is transposed to a state of bliss which is evident to everyone around him … and the heavier the music the better.
He’s now a big part of the Moreton Bay Region’s music scene with a following on social media and an opportunity to take it up a notch with the Audio Ability Project.
Moreton Daily chatted with Ky, his mum Tee and mentor Damon Joel (DJ) during a session at DJ’s Margate studio last week.
Ky, 20, has profound autism and complex communication, physical and intellectual disabilities but also has perfect pitch and enjoys playing drums, guitar and keyboard. He plays guitar left-handed, using a right-handed instrument upside down.
Ky is one of 20 in Australia selected to be part of the Audio Ability Project, which runs for three months. He will be doing some recording, mainly podcasts, and is hoping to do these at Clontarf’s Team Musicare.
“Ky will be mentored by (radio) 4ZZZ and supported by Damo (DJ) and Team Musicare. It will be a collaboration. They will pre-record the podcasts with maybe some of his music as 30 or 60 second pieces. They could be used as intros when they have ads and stuff like that,” Tee explains.
“It’s hard to know where it’s going to go because it’s a first-off thing. It’s something they haven’t tried before with someone with such complex needs. It’s a whole new community to get connected to.”
Born to rock
Music has been part of Ky’s life since infancy and Tee says it is what he thinks about every waking moment.
“It was just a natural thing right at the beginning. As soon as I could prop Ky up on a pillow, sitting up as a baby, he was finding things to beat with. He would find pencils, sticks or anything … he had a great beat straight away,” she says.
He loves rock’n’roll and blues, particularly AC/DC, Tommy Emmanuel, Pantera and Metallica. He thinks Bon Scott should replace the late Queen Elizabeth II on the $5 note.
“All the time, at any moment, Ky is always playing music. At home, he’s always playing an instrument while he might be watching Youtube videos of musicians or lessons … he’s always focused totally on music 100 per cent,” Tee says.
“It’s the way he communicates as well because of his complex communication he doesn’t communicate like you and I, but he communicates through his music.”
Ky’s mentor is local musician Damon Joel (DJ), whom he’s been working with for about three years.
“Ky originally came here for drum lessons and we just bonded straight away. Tee offered me a chance to actually work with Ky and ever since, it’s been great,” DJ says.
“It’s been a weekly thing and sometimes twice a week.”
“He’s great. He’s a legend in the music scene, everybody knows Ky. His natural ability for music is incredible.
“The most amazing thing about Ky is he is so passionate that I guarantee there are so many jealous people who just wish they could be that passionate. For Ky, it’s all he ever thinks about which is inspiring.”
And that look on his face when he’s playing?
“It’s hard to describe … I’d say just bliss,” DJ says.
What’s next for Ky?
“His vision is to be an entrepreneur and have his own business in consulting with festivals and concerts on inclusivity, how you can make spaces that are more inclusive for people with disability and people with autism,” Tee explains.
“He also wants to encourage people with autism to be a part of festivals as in playing and showcasing their talents. There’s a lot of people out there with some great talent that just need more opportunity.
“He just wants to be an integral part of the music community. That’s where Ky belongs and hopefully inspire others to be a part of it as well.”
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