Rejected by talent shows, S’porean with autism organises online concerts for youths with special needs – AutismSTEP
23-year-old musician Muhammad Arshad Fawwaz introduces me to his home recording studio setup with gusto.
He effortlessly rattles off the brands and model numbers of each of his pieces of equipment, which include microphones, a set of reference speakers, headphones, an audio interface, and a Macbook Pro.
He shows me how he’s been recording different parts of an acapella cover and stitching them together on his laptop, using audio production software.
Aside from the fact that the equipment looks fairly new, with some of their boxes neatly stacked under the IKEA table, I could hardly tell that it had only been set up in August this year.
Arshad is no ordinary producer. You see, he was diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was in primary school.
His home setup has been made possible by the Mediacorp Enable Fund, which provides funds to persons with disabilities in support of, among other things, “their aspirations that are currently beyond their families’ financial means”.
Previously, Arshad says, he would do recordings on his phone, which he also used to edit and splice together video clips for an online concert that aired on YouTube on May 24.
Arshad has gone on to organise another two editions of the online concert, and, equipped with his new gear, has been working on his singing portfolio by recording covers as well as original songs, which he uploads on various social media platforms.
For his efforts, he found himself in the company of 30 other recipients of the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) on Oct. 16.
All this would have been unimaginable before the Covid-19 pandemic.
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