A young rapper once unsure if he would live or die is turning his fight against cancer into the inspiration for his debut album.
Tymaz Bagbani, 22, is originally from Toronto and now splits his time between Innisfil and East Gwillimbury.
On Monday, he released his debut album, Heavenly, which explores the ups and downs of his battle with cancer.
Bagbani shared this quote from his title opening track:
“Time was running out
They were talking too soon
Then the boy blew up, now they talking Blue Moon
I was just a little baby with something to prove
If you never give up, then you never can lose”
“I really want people to know that no matter what happens in your life, you can succeed. The only limitations you put are the ones they see yourself,” he said.
Bagbani, a budding soccer star when he was a pre-teen, was first diagnosed with leukemia at age 11.
He battled cancer and won, only to have it return two and a half years later, requiring a bone marrow transplant.
At age 15, he told Global News his dream of playing professional soccer was still alive and well, even trying out for a soccer club in Madrid, Spain, but the dream was short-lived, with his cancer returning a third time in 2015.
“I went straight from the soccer field in Spain to the Sick Kids hospital again, and then this time, the doctors told me that I only had six months to live and that even treatment would do more harm than good,” he told Global News.
“They told me just to enjoy my time left, and then me and my mom didn’t accept this fact, and we fought, and fortunately, I got the treatment.”
He said after a second bone marrow transplant and radiation, he was able to beat cancer for the third time, but the results left him with several other health issues and in a wheelchair.
After intense physical therapy and several surgeries over five years, he says he was able to walk again.
Through his long recovery journey, he discovered a love of music.
“I’ve always been a very competitive person, and I found that I loved this, and it was a way for me to compete on an equal playing field, finally.”
Bagbani said he started battle rapping while still in a wheelchair and used his experiences as inspiration.
“What I like to say is 2020, everybody says is like the worst year because of COVID and everything, but that’s a year I got my life back,” he said.
“I got out of a position, and the world went in isolation. I used that period to really focus on my craft and created over 100 songs. Just spent that time recording music digitally and perfecting my craft.”
He said the 12-song independent project is family-friendly without using curse words or drug references.
“So it’s three parts. It will start off high energy, upbeat, go into a mellow pop kind of sound, and finish off with a more soulful, slower, deeper meaning.”
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