Kyle Cousins – a singer, songwriter, and musician living with Autism – will share his personal experiences with overcoming bullying and Autism while participating on the Allstar Nation Tour, a peer-to-peer national concert tour to combat in-school bullying.
The Allstar Nation Tour features young recording artists whom have been bullied. They hold 90-minute assemblies performing Top 40 and original music to connect with students. Between performances, the artists speak out against bullying, share personal experiences, and prevention methods. Performance assemblies are free to schools and typically held twice a day.
“Autism won’t stop my dreams,” said Cousins. “I’ve been bullied in school because of my Autism. My journey has taken me from being an outcast to a place now where I really feel good about myself and know that others respect me for my talent.”
The Richmond, Texasnative lost his ability to speak when he was two years old. Now 25, years of intensive interventions and family support have allowed the University of Houston graduate to make continual progress and express himself onstage through music.
Cousins discovered his ability to write music when he was a high school senior. Song writing became a tool for him to express his innermost thoughts and feelings, which was difficult to do in typical conversations. His anthem, “Everybody Wants to be Heard,” was licensed by Autism Speaks as their theme song. The single has been used over the years in the organization’s annual national campaign “Walk Now for Autism.” His latest single “Home” will be released early next year.
Cousins joins several Texans on the tour including Branden Mendoza, 21, who competed on NBC’s “The Voice” Season 6 held earlier this year; Tristan Blaine, 15, a favorite among younger fans who refer to themselves as “Blaniacs”; and Micaiah Walker, 24, lead singer of popular Houston rock band VerseCity. Nashville recording artist Jessie Chris, 17, of Boston is also performing and speaking out against bullying.
The group is scheduled to perform in two Texas cities reaching more than 10,000 students through the end of October. Performances in Houston and Dallas area schools include:
Cousins released his first full album – titled Spectrum – in 2009. The title not only refers to the autism spectrum, but also describes the wide variety of original music and lyrics he creates and performs, singing lead and back-up vocals as well as playing the keyboards. He has also written and recorded songs for a proposed HBO pilot, as well as the 2010 film Born to be a Star.
The Allstar Nation Tour started in August and has already touched more than 15,000 students and faculty at several Houston area schools. It is expected to visit more than 100 schools in 30 districts throughout Texas this year before heading to Florida in early 2015.
For more information about the Allstar Nation Tour including how to schedule a school performance, artist auditions or the latest tour schedule, visit www.allstarnationtour.com or call 713-562-1708.