ABOVE: Watch “Good To Me” by Kaymbo Shines.
TORONTO — Montreal-based hip hop artist Kaymbo Shines hopes to raise awareness about strokes with a deeply personal song, “Good To Me.”
Shines’ mother suffered a stroke while in Congo’s capital Kinshasa in June 2012.
“It hit so close to home and it changed everything,” he recalled.
Once his mother was back in Montreal, Shines put his performing career on hold and focused on writing songs for other artists.
“Good To Me” was one of four songs he sent to music mogul Brian Richardson, who signed him as a writer/producer.
The song — in which Shines credits God for helping his family through a difficult time — was too important to Shines to give to another artist.
“I’m detailing my first few hours after I got the call,” he said. “I wanted to make sure someone could see from my point of view what’s going on.”
He said he respects the fact that not everyone believes in God but hopes people will listen to the song and understand what he went through.
“A lot of people are going through the same thing.”
He said he was advised to find an established singer to record it so “it would have a bigger impact.” Instead, Shines recorded the vocals himself with some help from younger sister D’amyka.
Shines said he is donating 10 per cent of his share of the proceeds from sales of the single to the Heart and Stroke Foundation — and he hopes to do more.
The 28-year-old plans to visit high schools next year to educate young people about the symptoms of stroke and what to do if it happens to someone they love.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to use music to reach teenagers,” Shines explained.
His mother, whose stroke left her paralyzed from the neck down, is able to walk again and continues to undergo rehabilitation.
Shines said she loves the song.
“She was amazed when she saw her name at the end of the video.”
© Shaw Media, 2014