Manitoba-born skateboarder and musician with visual impairments caught the attention of Stevie Wonder Pipa News

Pipa News |

A 26-year-old visually impaired skateboard star-turned-musician from Manitoba has caught the attention of 25-time Grammy Award-winning artist Stevie Wonder.

Stonewall’s Brett Devaloo gained popularity online in 2015 with his skateboarding videos using the nickname “The Blind Kid”.

Now, he uses the same name for his music.

When Devaloo was in Los Angeles at a skateboarding camp for the visually impaired, he joined a smartwatch company that allows users to send and receive messages via Morse code.

Devaloo had recently finished recording his first single, and was sending it to friends and his network, including a representative at the watch company.

The representative passed it on as well, and later that evening Devlu got an unexpected message.

“He sent me back saying, ‘Can I give the producers of Stevie Wonder your phone number?’ ,

Shortly after, he was on the phone with Wonder’s creator, Lamar Mitchell.

“He [says]Stevie heard your song and he really likes it. They say that you write what you can see. We wanted to make a project with you. Will you be down?”

In late June, Devaloo returned to Los Angeles to work with Mitchell on an album.

He describes his music as uplifting, similar to what you’d hear on the beach.

“I do a lot of blinks and nods to go blind in almost every song,” Devlu said.

Brett Devaloo — seen here in this 2015 photo — adopted the nickname, The Blind Kid, or TBK. (Facebook)

He said that being involved in skateboarding and music has given him the opportunity to bond with other visually impaired people.

“I actually made [a] Singing with another blind skateboarder from Texas… It was great because online, there are so many communities of visually impaired people getting together. And I was never that I was never really a part of,” he said.

The musician became blind in 2011 at the age of 15. He said that he remembers he was studying history class in school when, all of a sudden, he couldn’t read his notes.

His vision loss is due to a genetic mutation called Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, which usually begins with blurriness and can progress to legal blindness.

Devlu said that he has not met Wonder, who is busy making new music. Manitoban said he hopes to meet the music legend someday soon.


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