KELOWNA – The bullies couldn’t stop him and neither could a life-threatening illness.
Kelowna rapper K'Star is using the obstacles he encountered in life to fuel a passion for using music to help others through their tough times.
K'Star, his real name Keifer Sherry, was born in Port au Prince, Haiti in the summer of 1991. At just 18 months of age his adopted parents moved him to their home country of Canada. Born with sickle cell anemia, a rare blood disorder, he would require medication and blood thinners for the rest of his life.
“We were first living in Victoria, then moved to Kelowna,” he says. “For my condition, it wasn’t very good. It was constantly raining down there. My parents wanted to find a better place where I wouldn’t get sick as often.”
The family moved to Kelowna when Keifer was two and it wasn't long before he met his first bully.
“I was bullied all through school, I was that bullied kid, so I had a hard time,” he says. “I didn’t like myself, I was like, why me? Why was I adopted? What’s my purpose? I wasn’t the smartest kid in school, people didn’t want to get to know me because of who they thought I was.”
A school counsellor suggested he write about it.
“I started writing all of my problems in a poem and I was listening to music,” he says. “That’s when I got the idea, I thought this would work to instrumental.”
He made his performance debut at a summer camp when he was just 15 years old.
“I shocked everyone,” he says. “I got a standing ovation and an encore. It was my first time. I was really surprised.”
Now 27, K'Star performs regularly in the Lower Mainland and plans to release an album this year.
“Every time I go on stage now I feel like I’m at home,” he says.
Although he credits his parents with much of his success, he says it’s the trials of life that gave him the strength to pursue his dream.
“It’s been a challenging road, especially the last year,” he says. “I’ve was in the hospital for six months last year. I was really sick. I had infections... but being in the hospital for so long allowed me to think about life more. About what I’m going to do, and how I’m going to do it.”
He decided he would use his music as a positive influence. His lyrics are clean, and he has no interest in the stereotypical hip hop themes of “women, cars and money.”
“I gathered a lot of strength from being bullied and ridiculed,” he says. “I could die any day but there's no reason to give up. No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter your abilities, you’re good at something and things will happen if you stick to it."
“Never give up.”
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