Cola Boyy, Indie Singer and Disability Activist, Dies at 34

Cola Boyy, Indie Singer and Disability Activist, Dies at 34

Cola Boyy, the California singer-songwriter who collaborated with MGMT and the Avalanches and advocated for folks with disabilities, has died. He was 34.

Cola Boyy, who was born Matthew Urango, died Sunday at his residence in Oxnard, his mom, Lisa Urango, mentioned. No trigger was given.

A self-described “disabled disco innovator,” Mr. Urango assembled numerous devices to create a brimming combination of funky rhythm and colourful sounds that accompanied his alluring voice, a hanging stability of silk and chirp.

Mr. Urango was born spina bifida, kyphosis and scoliosis and had used a prosthetic leg since he was 2.

As Cola Boyy, he launched a debut 2021 album, “Prosthetic Boombox,” that garnered tens of millions of streams on Spotify and different platforms and boasted full of life and introspective tunes resembling “Don’t Forget Your Neighborhood,” a collaboration with the indie pop group the Avalanches.

He used his burgeoning platform as an artist to talk out for social causes, together with these associated to folks with disabilities.

“Not lots of artists are visibly disabled,” he mentioned in an interview with Tmrw journal. “Society needs us to remain inside and to be timid and docile, and to not really feel assured, or cool, or attractive.”

As Cola Boyy, he carried out for audiences at main music festivals, together with Coachella in 2019, the place he appeared on a lineup that included Ariana Grande and Bad Bunny.

He was signed to the French indie label Record Makers and collaborated with Mac DeMarco, MGMT and others, in keeping with his manager, Jack Sills.

Mr. Urango had been a group organizer who labored on points in Oxnard’s agricultural and immigrant communities, Mr. Sills mentioned.

Matthew Joseph Urango was born on Feb. 14, 1990, in Ventura County, his mom mentioned. He grew up in Oxnard, a largely Latino and working-class metropolis on the Southern California coast that’s recognized for the huge farms close by.

Mr. Urango taught himself to play a number of devices, his mom mentioned. His first was a “little child drum set,” he mentioned in an interview with The Fader that was printed in 2018, including that he had later picked up piano and guitar.

On Monday night time, at an impromptu vigil in an Oxnard alleyway, scores of individuals turned out to mourn, his mom mentioned. Flowers and candles amassed on the bottom, the phrases “RIP COLA BOYY” spray-painted on a wall above.

Mr. Urango is survived by his twin brother, Marcus; his youthful brother, Noah; and his mom and father, Lisa and Joseph Urango.

When he was a young person, Mr. Urango joined Oxnard’s thriving punk scene, taking part in in a number of bands, Mr. Sills mentioned. Before changing into a solo artist, he had been a member of an indie pop band known as Sea Lions, his manager mentioned, which toured and performed exhibits abroad.

In the Fader interview, Mr. Urango spoke at size concerning the affect of his hometown.

“The folks I grew up with and the people who I encompass myself with now are actual individuals who’ve been by way of so much,” he mentioned, speaking concerning the folks in Oxnard. “They’re very resilient.”



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