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A disability doesn’t stop 21-year-old artist from singing

‘If I can do it, you can do it’

October has been declared National Disability Awareness Month and Lafayette, Louisiana, singer/songwriter Yung Juko is a prime example of defying all odds to reach a goal.

The 21-year-old who is an R&B vocalist and recent YouTube sensation was born with spina bifida, a congenital condition that causes the spine to not fully develop. Defying doctors’ predictions that he would never walk, he knew he would face tough times. Today, he is walking just fine. He overcame poverty and growing up in a household with an absentee father to launch a singing career that’s allowed him to make music with artists like rapper Slim Thug.

Juko, also known as Judah White, launched his first video at the end of May. Trust Nobody has more than 2 million views on YouTube. His second single, Learn From the Streets, has 350,000 views in just two months. His new single, Pray For Me, is inspired by his own life.

He had been entertaining people in his hometown with his singing and songwriting since he was 14 years old. He purchased the beat for Trust Nobody from an online website for $25.

His mother later inspired him to use social media.

“I was just chilling in the crib,” he said. “I went off my feelings and stuff. My mama heard me singing and then she was liking it. I put it on YouTube. Then, I posted it on Instagram and they started liking it. You feel me, so. That’s basically how it started, like, it’s just things that I have started. Sometimes I slow wake up, like, damn, this is really happening.”

Juko said he didn’t take it seriously until Trust Nobody started getting feedback on YouTube because he didn’t know how the public would view him.

“My confidence level wasn’t up there yet,” he explained. “After they told me [to keep striving] and the feedback was great, I just started writing from there and that’s how it started.”

Juko said his family inspired him and he’d like to share his life view with others.

“I’d like to inspire people with conditions, people that come from poverty and [have] like no father figure. I think I could relate to a lot in it. If I can do it, you can do it.”

The best advice he’s ever received was to “never ever limit yourself. Just keep going, and always believe, and have faith. Just keep going and believe, that’s the best advice.”

“If I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to get far, if I just keep it and stay with the positive vibing. Give messages that they can relate to, I think I’ll go far. I think I’ll last long.”

His life motto?

“Make them love you after the hating is finished.”

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.