A CORK man who has autism has formed a ‘supergroup’ with the country’s top musicians to record his first single.
Kevin Walsh has raised €4,500 through a crowdfunding campaign to produce his debut song, Embrace The World, and has pledged to donate 50% of the profits to the autism charity, As I Am.
Among the Cork performers on the track is West End star Molly Lynch.
It is hoped that the ‘FundIt’ project can raise €8,000 to cover production costs.
Kevin describes the song as a pop/rock ballad. Nonetheless, the 30-year-old says his first love will always be Disney.
“Growing up in the ’90s, Disney films were going through their renaissance period and had a new musical every year,” Kevin said.
“I always thought the characters were amazing for wanting to go beyond what they were. They sang about being ‘part of that world’ and wanting to ‘go the distance’.
“For me, that was something I could really identify with.”
He described what music has done for him.
“If it’s anything in the spectrum of music, I can really thrive,” Kevin said. “As a five-year-old with a lot of anxiety and frustrations and being overwhelmed by textures and faces, music brought a calming influence.
“If it was something like soccer, I would be totally lost, but music gave me the opportunity to make so many connections,” Kevin said. “It helped me with so many friendships. Even a couple of romantic connections have been formed through music.
“It’s what drives me on a spiritual level.”
Music helped Kevin to transition from a special-needs school to mainstream education when completing his Leaving Certificate.
“When I moved into mainstream education for the first time, it was a difficult transition,” Kevin said.
“However, the first moment I connected with the class was when I was on my piano.”
Kevin said he was grateful to those who donated to the project.
“Through the crowdfunding, I’ve got in touch with a lot of teachers and SNAs, all of whom have donated to the fund.”
Kevin was inspired to create the project by the musical collective, Irish Women in Harmony.
“I would love to be on the same foothold as Women in Harmony,” Kevin said.
“Supergroups were around in the ’80s, but Women in Harmony have shown how powerful they can still be.”
Kevin said his proudest moment was writing two songs for the musical A Night On The Town, devised by Denis Eivers and Yvonne Coughlan, which ran at The Everyman in 2018, in aid of Cork Samaritans.
Embrace The World is set to feature 13 singers and will later be accompanied by a music video.
To donate to Kevin’s fundraising campaign, see https://fundit.ie/project/embrace-the-world