Here is the full transcript of singing prodigy Sparsh Shah aka Purhythm’s TEDx Talk presentation on How a 13-year old changed ‘Impossible’ to ‘I’m Possible’ at TEDxGateway conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: How a 13 year old changed ‘Impossible’ to ‘I’m Possible’ by Sparsh Shah at TEDxGateway conference
Sparsh Shah – Singing prodigy
So what you just heard were some of the 11 longest words in the English dictionary. Such complex words, right?
Well, just as these words are complex, so has my own life been. And although seemingly difficult things, such as memorizing long and complex words and numbers are simple for me, seemingly simple things such as standing and bearing weight are impossible for me. That’s because I wasn’t like any other newborn baby.
I was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare incurable genetic disorder that causes a person’s bones to be extremely fragile. So I guess you can call me Mr. Glass now.
During my birth, I had over 35 fractures and was taken immediately to the intensive care unit. And these were the sounds that used to resonate throughout the hospital, those desperately clinging on to my life. The doctors gave me the very bleak prognosis that I’d only live for a day or two, but due to God’s grace and the support of my parents and their never-say-die attitude, I survived. In fact — thank you, thank you.
In fact, I’ve had 130 fractures so far in just the first 13 years of my life and only God knows how many more will happen. I’ve also had multiple screws and rods placed in my body. So I guess you can call me Iron Man as well. Ironic, am I right? But anyways, no more sob stories, because that’s not what I want to talk to you about today.
So now what do you see in the slide in the back? Can you tell me? Impossible, right. OK, good.
Now what do you all see?
“I am possible”
Thank you. Yeah, awesome and that’s exactly what I want to share with you all today: how I turned the word “Impossible” into “I’m possible” in my life by following four simple steps.
Step 1: Find your passion. Now despite the fact that I did live a very rough life for the first few years, God opened a new door to it that would become my passion and change my life forever. And that was music. Music has had a tremendous impact on me, both physically and emotionally.
I started singing ever since I could speak. And in fact, I even used to correct my parents when they were singing off-key by saying, “Mom, dad, you’re not singing right”.
At the tender age of 6, my parents enrolled me into Indian classical vocal training. Much later on, I also started taking American vocal lessons, therefore helping to increase my versatility as a singer. But I found my true calling as an artist at the age of 10 when I wrote my first song “This love will never fade”. Since then I’ve written 11 more songs.
Step 2: Never hold yourself back. So one day I came across an amazing rap song many of you may have heard of: “Not Afraid” by none other than Eminem, also known as Slim Shady. This song struck my chords and was so inspirational to me that I could not hold myself back. And I decided that I had to go out there and make a cover of it myself. Who knew that the boy with slim chances of survival would go on to sing Slim Shady songs one day?
But wait, there’s more. I didn’t just rap the song like any other person. First of all, I have not been in profanity. So I decided to make my rapper name, Purhythm. In other words, I’m clean, no curses but I’m still all about the rhythm.
I also added my own touch of Indian classical music to the song, which is part of a new music genre that I want to pioneer called raga rap with a fusion of seemingly polar opposites: Indian classical music and hip hop. I know right now to some of you the idea may sound completely crazy. But trust me, in the end the result is beautiful.
To my pleasant surprise, the cover blew up all over the internet and it became a worldwide phenomenon. I received praises from some of the most famous celebrities out there, and today the cover has gotten over 55 million views and counting on all social media sites so far. Thank you.
And because I decided that I would not hold myself back and instead decide out to go out and display my musical talent to the world, I was able to achieve these among many other achievements that I’ve been very blessed to have achieved to this day.
Step 3: Help others. Now I’ve been singing pro bono for various non-profit organizations and by now I’ve helped to raise at least half a million dollars for them. Thank you. And yes, that is American dollars by the way. Because I know we’re in India right now so.
But I believe that the biggest satisfaction for all of us is when we get to help change someone else’s life for the better, doesn’t it give us such an immense amount of gratitude? For example, I was once contacted by a family who had a child with brittle bones just like me. He’s about to go into surgery and was very nervous. But his parents reached out to me and we had a FaceTime call which went very well and on the day of the surgery his parents sent us this pic with a smiling Xavier going into the surgery without any fear. Thank you.