“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” —Michelle Obama
Unbreakable (Desert Dreams Books & Music) is the debut from 21-year-old Ali McManus. On it, the Detroit singer/songwriter worked with legendary producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, New York Dolls), who calls McManus “a natural, a true artist with old-soul sensibility.” Impressive enough as it is, but what makes Unbreakable even more impressive is that McManus’ lung capacity is only 30 percent. She was born premature and given a 50/50 chance of survival. A rare bone disorder has meant she’s been confined to a wheelchair since she was seven. Eleven surgeries, halo tractions, steel rods to fuse and straighten her spine and a full body cast couldn’t deter McManus from pursuing her dream to become a musician. In fact, all of it inspired her even more. We are proud to premiere the video for Unbreakable‘s title track today on magnetmagazine.com.
This is what McManus has to say about the song and video: “While we rehearsed and recorded, we had a video camera to follow our journey. And after I returned to Michigan, I was filmed at home and performing around the streets of Detroit. These moments became the ‘Unbreakable’ video. Throughout my life, I’ve had to face tough challenges, and each one has led me to become unbreakable. I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was seven years old, and I wrote this song about what that’s like. One day, I was sitting in my chair on the beach in the Bahamas, looking at the ocean and watching people walk by. I noticed their reactions: sympathetic stares and people wondering what’s wrong with me. I pulled out my phone and wrote this song. When Jack played me the final mix, I started to cry. And for the first time it wasn’t tears of pain—it was tears of pure joy.” There’s nothing more we can add to that other than watch the video for “Unbreakable” right now.