Kingswaii and his court
Elijah Patcheson was anything but a model student.
“I was very unorganized and I didn’t really care about school,” said the member of the Thorold Golden Eagles senior boys basketball team. “I didn’t really care about anything until things started going bad and I realized how much I could lose if I didn’t put the effort in.
“I didn’t know what it felt like to feel accomplished from doing my best.”
The 17-year-old was born in Hamilton and raised in Beamsville before moving to Thorold.
“Stuff happened with my dad and he left,” the Grade 12 student said. “We lost our house and we had to move somewhere cheaper so we came here to Thorold.”
The turning point in the Grade 12 student’s life came when his mother, Annissa Padachey, was diagnosed with cancer and had to have one of her kidneys removed. The surgery was done five months ago and, as of now, she is cancer free.
“She didn’t give up and she always smiled. ‘I am going to do this and I am going to keep working,’ ” he said.
One week after Annissa had a kidney removed, she danced with Elijah at a talent show.
“She wasn’t supposed to do anything for over a month and she told me she was going to do it,” he said. “After it, I thought ‘That’s my mom’ and she’s turned 40 and I’m only 17. Imagine how much more I could do.”
He decided at that moment to follow his mom’s lead.
“Just like that, I decided I was a going to do better and it’s good because we can do it together.”
The first thing mother and son did together was dance.
“She was recovering from cancer and we started dancing. And we really got into it,” Elijah said.
Visit link to see dancing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0ECFeZPpeY
The dancing became therapy for the Patchesons.
“We never really had much so this brought us together more and it’s something that we both love doing,” he said. “If I am having a bad day or if she’s upset or I am upset we will come into a room and make a dance video.”
Elijah started posting the dance videos of himself and his mother on Instagram and he now has more that 135,000 followers (@kingswaii).
“It’s like a job now and I get paid for it,” he said. “Artists who notice you have big viewings pay you to dance to their music or they pay you to wear their clothes. I have a clothing sponsor and they send me free clothes and they pay me to wear them in my videos.”
That was just the beginning for Elijah.
“My mom brought up the idea of making music for people to dance to,” he said. “I started making music and I have five songs out right now.”
One of his songs, Fashion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=679-B9v1twU) is streaming in more than 60 countries right now. He uses the name kingswaii.
“It’s surprising,” he said. “I have never had much, but it has always been my dream to be an entertainer. From where I came from to where I am now, I am very proud of myself because I didn’t think it was possible.
“But I really wanted it, I’ve been working for it and now I have it. I just have to keep doing it.”
His passion has become his career.
“For now, I can make a living at it but I have to continue doing it,” he said. “I want to have a house by the time I am 20 which I should be able to do if I keep doing it.”
He describes his music as a combination of hip hop and dance.
“It’s more like new generation turn up that you would hear at a party or something,” he said.
His music is entirely his own.
“It’s my mind and what I am thinking,” he said. “I don’t really watch other people because it takes away from my ideas. I want to be myself. I can’t watch someone else then do something and expect a difference.”
His songs are personal as well as global.
“It’s about my life, what I want to do in the future and what is going on in the world right now.”
The song, Fashion, is about the shallowness of some people.
“It’s about people who are fake and think that they are all that just because they have cars, money, makeup and all that kind of stuff.”
Patcheson is now taking school and basketball as seriously as he does his music.
“I always loves sports and since I was a kid I never really pushed myself to do things. Only my mom was really there to push me,” he said. “It’s not that I didn’t know how to, it’s just that I didn’t want to put the effort in.”
Being in Grade 12 has also added to Elijah’s motivation.
“Now that it’s my last year, my grades are up and everything has settled and I can do whatever I want,” he said. “I want to push to my limits and because it is my last year I want to play and be the best I can.”
It only takes a second of being in his presence to feel the joy and life radiating out of him.
“I love spreading good energy and I want to show people that you can do anything,” he said. “I came from a rough life and I had a lot of problems going on.
“I fixed everything and it’s never the end of the road. You can always do something better and you can always fix something.”
Thorold coach John Kwiatkowski loves what Elijah brings to his basketball team.
“He knows what he wants to do and I am jumping for joy,” Kwiatkowski said. “He brings a lot of spirit to the team. He’s funny, he’s always dancing and he has everyone laughing.
“They admire him and he brings that commitment to the team.”
Patcheson used to be primarily just a shooter in basketball game but has evolved into an excellent defender and a player who can run the floor and dunk the basketball with emphasis.
“He’s a work in progress,” Kwiatkowski said. “His level of play has just been raised. It started with dance and now he is doing it with basketball.”
Kwiatkowski has been thrilled to see Elijah’s progress in the classroom as well.
“He was jumping for joy and his mom was floored.”
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