Swoon is gearing up to be the hottest track of the Summer, and Rio ‘Soulshocka’ Wyles is gearing up to be the hottest rapper of his generation!
That feat is made even more amazing by the fact that Rio, 21, is autistic and suffered a profound loss of language at age three-and-a-half—prompting doctors to warn his mother that he may never speak.
The language slowly came back, but in an odd ritualistic, nonsensical way, causing children to shun Rio throughout his childhood and those close to him to worry that he would never be able to fully live an independent life.
But, proving the naysayers wrong—and then some—Wyles is burning up the music world as he embarks on his rap career.
The pairing came about courtesy of Autism Speaks and Converse who grouped together to arrange the collaboration, which was recorded at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn, in an effort to prove that just because an artist is autistic doesn’t mean they can’t rock the world.
MTV caught up with Adrienne and Timeflies to discuss the project and what it was like working with the great Soulshocka.
“What can we say about Rio. Kid is absolutely unbelievable,” Rob and Cal from Timeflies tell MTV. “Right when we got there he was ready to drop his verse on Swoon, and everyone was blown away. He just stepped to the mic and did his thing like he’d been doing it for years. From flow to lyrics he’s got it covered. It was really just a fun session.”
“I was blown away by Rio,” Adrienne says. “He rhymes so effortlessly and is a natural in the recording studio. He simply killed it in only a few takes at the mic. I’m huge fan of Timeflies.
“It was so much fun getting the chance to collaborate with Cal and Rob, and it’s exciting to watch them take it to the next level.”
And, what should people know about artists who have autism?
“At the end of the day, music is music,” Rob and Cal tell MTV. “We all do it for those moments where your eyes close and you get that feeling…an indescribable rush of emotion. It’s a hard question to answer because, as is true with so much music, it seems obvious to never judge a book by its cover.
“We never thought once to treat the situation differently. We heard Rio wanted to spit a verse and he absolutely killed it, end of story. So what should people know about artists with autism? Let the music speak for itself.”
“Autism doesn’t have to define a person,” Adrienne says. “Artists with autism are like anyone else, they define themselves through hard work and individuality.”
You can watch the amazing Swoon remix below — as Rio would say, “Check it.”
What do you think of Rio’s Swoon remix? Sound off in comments below and tweet us @OKMagazine