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Hamilton artist profile: LuckyStickz

Imagine the panic: a three-year-old boy gets lost at Canada’s Wonderland. Upon being found, the toddler was instantly dubbed “lucky” and the name stuck with him.

The second part of Dejehan Hamilton’s stage name “LuckyStickz” stems from him receiving a drum set at the tender age of eight, followed by joining the Hamilton Youth Steel Orchestra as a drummer and, at age 11, learning to play steelpan.

LuckyStickz believes one of his most important accomplishments was overcoming stereotypes “by not becoming a product of my environment,” says the artist.

“The core of my motivation came from Mother, who, as a single parent, worked very hard to provide opportunities that otherwise would have been beyond our means. I learned that with passion and a strong work ethic I could achieve the unthinkable. Despite the school system placing many labels on my ability to read, see, hear, and learn, I was determined to not adopt those labels as my truth, and set my mind to excelling in every way I could. At all times, I did my best to position myself to obtain the best possible exposure to music academically, and I surrounded myself with like-minded individuals who already were doing what I aimed to do.”

This eventually led LuckyStickz to become the first Canadian steelpan graduate on scholarship at the prestigious Berklee College of Music where he enjoyed the opportunity to be mentored by many world-class musicians.

Local children as young as seven up to young adults can now enjoy the fruits of his endeavours, as LuckyStickz provides music education at Musica Palooza summer camps across Ontario and empowerment for ‘at-risk’ youth by leading motivational seminars in schools. His positive messages and musical talents also attract an international audience. He has been invited to speak and/or perform in places like Barbados, Puerto Rico, and Singapore.

“I’m fortunate to be able to travel the world performing my original music as well as providing music programming for up-and-coming young musicians through my non-profit, The Tune In Foundation,” says LuckyStickz.

The artist acknowledges that COVID-19 took the world by surprise, but he takes one day at a time. “Tomorrow has never been ours to behold and, in these uncertain times, there’s comfort in just knowing that you’re all right and taken care of today. Each day, I focus on the blessings and don’t consume too much news.”

He’s still producing his podcast, Let Me Find Out How You Found Out, available on Youtube and other podcast platforms, and is writing both literature and music.

“I believe now is the best time to be creative and comfort the world through art,” LuckyStickz says. “I’m inspired by helping people, so the jump-off point for anything I do is asking: what is needed right now and how can I meet that need?

“Hopefully, when things return to normal, there will be a book on the way, new music, more podcast episodes to check out, and an amazing Tune In Foundation Gala to support youth empowerment and music education locally and globally!”

As Maya Angelou once said, “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”

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