Celebrating artists with disabilities at new festival
At four years old, Mr Danial Bawthan still could not walk and was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, which causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.
He started walking at five, but with much difficulty and eventually, he had to use a wheelchair in secondary school.
Today, the 24-year-old is an accomplished sound designer, hip-hop music producer and rapper-beatboxer.
Mr Danial has already released three songs and won the best producer award at Enter the Void Deck , a hip-hop event.
He is also a national wheelchair rugby player.
This week, he will perform at the inaugural True Colours Festival at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Organised by the charity Very Special Arts Singapore, it will run from March 23 to 25 and will feature 30 acts by 195 performers from around Asia Pacific, 95 per cent of whom are disabled. Tickets are sold on Sports Hub Tix at $30.
Festival director Audrey Perera said: "This event is about recognising abilities and celebrating exceptional talent."
Mr Danial, who will perform his new rap song I Know, hopes the event will promote greater acceptance in society.
The song highlights the discrimination he has faced, describing how he has been stared at and been questioned over his inability to walk.
In secondary school, his friends excluded him from sports activities.
The oldest of six children, Mr Danial said: "Even though I love soccer, my friends would not let me join their matches."
He added: "I became angry, self-conscious and had low self-esteem."
Rapping became a way for him to get over negative emotions.
After attaining a Higher Nitec in information technology in 2015, he began pursuing a career in music.
In 2016, he released an original song, Problems, where he expressed how he felt about the challenges of his disability.
Last year, Mr Danial started composing soundscapes for theatre productions and will be performing in The Singapore 'd' Monologues, a project featuring fictional monologues by real-life artists here with disabilities.
He said: "Truly, it is about what you have and not what you don't have.With or without legs, you just have to work towards your dream."