Music news

Disabled musician who collaborated with MGMT passes away

Cola boyy performing on stage

Cola Boyy, who described himself as the ‘disabled disco innovator,’ has passed away at the age of 34.

His record label, Record Makers, said the musician died on Sunday, the cause of death has not been made public.

The performer, whose real name was Matthew Urango, collaborated with a number of artists including Air, Avalanches and MGMT.

Having a number of medical conditions, including spina bifida, scoliosis and kyphosis, Cola Boyy had a unique stage presence and was also known for being a disability-rights advocate.

A statement released by Record Makers said: 'His lyrics, his melodies, the sound of his voice: every side of his music was unique and timeless.’

It concluded: 'We loved him at Record Makers. We are sending all possible love to Matthew’s family and to his numerous friends. His music and power will remain.’

Paying tribute to the late musician his manager Jack Sills posted on Instagram: 'Rest in peace to my brother @colaboyy. Anyone who knew Matthew knows he had a larger than life personality,' he wrote. 'He was always the life of the party and could chop it up with anyone. He was also one of the most talented and down to earth people I’ve ever met. His humor and natural charisma endeared him to whoever he met. 

'Matthew cared enormously for his family, friends and community which he often expressed through his music,' Sills continued, before revealing that Cola Boyy 'had just finished his next album and was excited to start releasing new music this summer.'

'I will continue to work with his family and @recordmakers to make sure this happens. Love you homie. Cola Boyy Forever!' 

Cola Boyy’s first release was the EP Black Boogie Neon which caught the attention of psychedelic band MGMT who took him on tour as their opening act.

Nicholas Godin from French duo asked him to write and sing on The Foundation, a song off his 2020 solo album Concrete And Glass and electronic band The Avalanches collaborated with the late musician on their album We Will Always Love You, also released in 2020.

In an interview with TMRW Magazine Cola Boyy said: 'Not a lot of people are visibly disabled. Society wants us to stay inside and to be timid and docile, and to not feel confident, or cool, or sexy. They just don’t want us to feel any of that, you know? So, in my life, that often weighed me down, but it didn’t ever stop me. I've always been a very outgoing person but still not the most confident, I’m still very critical of myself.'

[ Cola Boyy was also an advocate supporting people of colour. ]

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