Connect member Stewart McDougall has always had a passion for music and is keen to share his story on how he become DJ PapiChulo.
My name is Stewart and I am a 27-year-old DJ. My stage name is DJ PapiChulo. The name came about when I covered a DJ gig for a friend. I was wearing a T-shirt that said "I am your Papi" on the front and it gave me the inspiration for my stage name which, I think separates me from everyone else.
I have visual and physical difficulties, and as a result of that I had to go to Trelors School and College which specifically caters for people with physical difficulties. I was there between the ages of 11 and 19 and studied Arts and Media because I’ve always had a passion for music.
One day, the teachers said to me that I’d be good as a radio host. They said that I had a good voice and it didn’t matter about my eyesight or other ailments. I have restricted hand movements due to having cerebral palsy and tunnel vision but someone is always there to do the things that I can’t do due to my sight and dexterity.
I have now transitioned from doing radio shows to doing live DJing events. I have adapted the normal DJing equipment, which now allows me to comfortably perform independently in the dark. I can put my foot near the base speaker which allows me to feel the rhythm of the music.
I also feel that my visual difficulties aid me too because I cannot see the crowd, and this means that I never find myself getting nervous.
It also helps that my family are originally from Columbia and with my multi-cultural background it allows me to play all types of music from different countries.
I have also done many charity events to help raise money for various charities ranging from Berkshire Vision, helping partially sighted people in Africa to the Dolphin Centre.
I enjoy doing all of these events as it shows that even with a disability you can still achieve what you want to and hopefully, encourage others to do the same.