Mencap – Here I Am Campaign

Here I Am – Casey Rochell

mqdefaultMy name’s Casey, but you might also know me as DJ Casey Dude. I love music and I love technology. People describe me as being comical, an entertainer, a dancer and a good singer. I am fun to be with. I’m good at DJing. I love food, fashion and all things cool.

I also have Down’s syndrome and autism. But those are not the most important things about me – the most important things are music, fashion and being a DJ.

I have my own DJ set every Sunday night at my local pub, The Swan. I do it on my own and I run the show. I think it’s fabulous when people get up and dance. I make them do that by getting the music started. I like playing R&B. Sometimes I play Ska, and ‘80s music or disco.

I am never, never nervous. I have played in front of big crowds – like at the town hall. That was very good, excellent. DJing makes me happy and excited.

Everyone at The Swan is asking about the Here I Am film I’ve done with Mencap. It was great to be involved in. They’ll be wanting my autograph. I’m going to tell all my Facebook fans about it.

People in the country will love it. I hope it makes them think about learning disability in a different way. We are all good at different things. People need to realise that.

Why shouldn’t someone with a learning disability go to a pub or club if that’s what they want to do? It’s a good way of making new friends, and to take photos to remember the good times. It’s also a way to be noticed by people.

People with a learning disability should be able to have relationships. It’s excellent to have a fun friendship; it’s a natural thing. It’s also good to share each other’s interests. I have a girlfriend, she likes music too, mainly rock music – but I don’t mind as I like rock music too.

It’s difficult describing what having a learning disability is like. But I believe if you put your mind to it then anybody can achieve their dreams. My dream is to be famous, like a fashion model in advertisements.

I’d like to be on TV and in magazines and to sign autographs for all my friends or my fans in Meltham and Huddersfield. I’d also like to be a pop star and be liked by everybody. One day I’d like to star in movies.

But right now, I’m focusing on the DJing. Here are 10 of my favourite tracks – just for you:

  1. Bulletproof – La Roux
  2. When You Believe – Leon Jackson
  3. Never Miss A Beat – Kaiser Chiefs
  4. Hung Up – Madonna
  5. Love Shack – B52s
  6. Picture This – Blondie
  7. Mysterious Girl – Peter Andre
  8. Best Behaviour – N-Dubz
  9. What The Hell – Avril Lavigne
  10. Bonkers – Dizzy Rascal

“I’m Not A Learning Disability”

Mencap’s video of Casey Rochell aka DJ Casey Dude, is of great inspiration to me, with a strong link to my project on social action. The video shows DJ Casey Dude, who suffers from down syndrome and autism, creating a thought provoking, social action tune. It starts with a negative, harsh comment from a leading academic in 1968, stating that a person with down syndrome is not a person. Then, he cleverly mixes up the comment with groovy experimental music, cutting out elements of the comment, phrasing it “down syndrome is a person”, then repeating “a person” multiple times at different pitches. This video inspired because I enjoyed the way he achieved to create a powerful social action message, through well thought out mixing, tunes and beats, creating a serious thought provoking, yet a tune that groovy and makes you dance. This has given me the idea to look into creating a soundtrack, with a thought provoking message, putting a positive twist on it, like in DJ Casey Dude’s video, raising awareness that people with disabilities are human beings, with feeling like you and me. Music is one of my passions, with a love for house music, dub, drum and base as well as experimental music. It would be an enjoyable challenge to combine both art and music together. I can create an illustration to visually get across my message about people with disabilities to be treated fairly and equally as non disabled human beings. Then, I can back my visual message with a sound scape, to create a mood and emphasise my message.



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