Updated: Mar 16, 2018
Disability shouldn’t be the thing that holds you back
Nathan Tessmann AKA MC Wheels is a talented young rapper with a rare condition that affects his ability to perform everyday actions. But rather than let them define what he does with his life, Nathan decided to pursue a musical career as a hip-hop artist. Nathan really does live by his mantra to follow your dreams.
He’s already supported some big-name acts, earning their respect for his attitude and his lyrical talent, and this impressive line-up of gigs would make any rapper-wannabe jealous.“It’s a mash of tight rhyming, bottom-heavy beats and good old fashion party hip-hop, with some dope cuts thrown in as well.” – The point sunshine coast reviews and Q&A’s
It’s time to follow your dreams with MC Wheels
Hey, my name is Nathan Tessmann A.K.A MC Wheels.
I’m a rap artist from the Sunny Coast who has spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress. A shorter version is SMARD. I’ve been lucky that the breathing hasn’t affected me too much. But since I’ve been creating music and rapping, I’ve been able to improve it. I first got into it in 2010 when started out on drums like bongos and other hand drums. But with very limited strength found it difficult so I started writing songs.
After writing my first song I felt this wave of accomplishment that I just had to keep riding. I worked on more songs in that year to have enough for a EP. I released my EP in 2011 at Velvet Waters – my first headlining gig.
I was one scared little dude, but I smashed it outta the park.
We got great feedback from people saying they loved it, so we decided to make my debut album, My Introduction.
On this journey, we met some amazing people who had a great hand in creating my album as well improving stage performing. The likes of DJ Jesswah and PJ. Jesswah produced most of my beats and DJ for me on stage.
PJ is my hype man helps me with backups on stage and mentors me with writing. In 2012 I got the chance to perform for five minutes on the main stage at Sprung Hip Hop Festival. I was in front of like a thousand people. It felt awesome – an amazing moment in my life.
With the release of my album in 2013, we went gig crazy to promote it. One of my favourite gigs that year was opening a show for Mantra. I knew I had to perform at my best since he is one of best rappers going around. We rocked the house down and he was impressed by my music which meant a lot.
Later that year the guys at Live Life Productions released the doco they have been filming all this time. It’s called MC Wheels Magic of Life.
2014 the gig life slowed down a bit but I did get one pretty decent gig: Supporting Bliss N Eso at the River Stage in Brisbane on their Circus Under The Stars Tour. This was definitely the best gig I’ve been a part of. I’m a massive Bliss N Eso fan. It was a dream come true. Then in 2015, I got invited to perform at The Big Pineapple Festival on the local stage. This was a huge achievement because it’s difficult to get a spot in that festival and to play it once makes me super happy.
Since then I created and released my second album called Dark Side of Happiness. Its core message that I want people with disability to hear is, that if you have a dream – no matter what it is – go for it. You never know where it can take you because together we can achieve anything.
Don’t be afraid to dream big when planning for the NDIS in 2018. It’s time to show everyone that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Over to you
What goals and big dreams are you going to tick off in the new year with the NDIS? Let us know in the comments.