Cory Singer is an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician and theater performer.
Autism Speaks influences policy at the state and federal government levels. To do this, we work with Congress, the…
Singer took to TikTok to share his journey with autism, coining the phrase, ‘People with Autism Have Superpowers.’ He has become a social influencer for families and other adults living with autism.
South Plainfield, New Jersey. Grew up listening to Stevie Wonder and Journey, and, in the fourth grade, started doing theatre. Nominated for a Broadway World award for best vocalist along with Liza Minnelli. “I have heard that when you photograph a person in black and white you see their soul.” What do you hope fans see when they look at a B&W photo of you?
I hope they see the real me. Color can change your visual and distract you. When I post black and whites on my social media, it’s stripped down, no bells and whistles. Much like music. I love acoustic styling. Much more than a full production. When you sing a song with light instrumentals you cannot hide any imperfections, it is raw and real.
Asperger’s. Tourette’s. “I’ve been bullied a lot because of it. Sometimes I feel like an outsider in a way. But, as I have gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace it. I’d rather feel different than normal. When you are different, you are remembered.” Winner of Bravo’s singing competition show “The Kandi Factory” and the grand prize, a song penned by Grammy-winning artist Kandi Burruss, entitled “I Can Do Anything”). Did winning the competition change your career goals?
Yes, I continued to do theater but Kandi really instilled the art of “writing a song.” I have been honing my writing skills for years, I take it very seriously. Kandi taught me that, she said to me, “If you are serious about being in the music business as a singer then you need to write, write, write and own yourself.”
TikTok influencer. “I tried starting out doing music on TikTok, but because there’s so much competition in that area, it’s harder to break in. So, I was trying to be a comedian, you know, embrace my theater side, and one day I made a joke about my autism, that I have Asperger’s — that’s what I was diagnosed with — and I said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with it except for the fact that it sounds like ‘ass-burgers,’’ and my phone started blowing up. I was like ‘Oh wow, damn it, I’m on to something.” How have you been able to use your role as an influencer to help others in similar situations?
Well, I get so many emails and messages from people telling me that my honesty on TikTok has helped them by having someone to relate to and also be more confident like myself. I have also had adults write to me and share that they went for diagnosis for themselves, they state that they always knew they were different but because I shared so much of my life as an autistic, they saw similarities. That makes me feel good, that I am really helping other people.
“I read Christopher Reeve’s book (Still Me) years ago and it always just stuck out to me how it said, even in terrible times, there is humor.” If you were to start an online book club to connect with fans, which book would you want to read and why?
I am very intrigued by inspiration, reading about others who overcame their challenges. I am also an avid reader of military history. I went through the recruitment process to become a Marine. Unfortunately toward the end of months of training and meetings, I was not accepted because of my autism diagnosis and a former foot injury that required surgery. I was really bummed out, I wanted to serve in the military so that my life would have meaning. It was shortly thereafter that I started talking about my autism on TikTok. It’s pretty amazing how things happen in life, I am serving others and it gives me great peace to know that I can help other people with my platform.
“Someone” — “I wrote this song to share one of my personal struggles, finding someone who can accept me for who I am. Can’t we all relate? … I never wrote anything about the struggles I have had with autism. So, I put my thoughts on paper and the melody on paper. Then, I went to bed and then, I woke up and wrote the song.” How difficult was it to share this most vulnerable side?
Not hard at all. I find it easier to be real and vulnerable than to hide behind a fake facade.
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Your latest, “Somebody’s Heart,” is a romantic love story. Was the song inspired by a real-life event?
Well, yes, but not what you would think. I met a girl at work and she was a lot shorter than me. I am only 5'5" and have a bit of a short man complex lol. The line in the song “You make me feel tall” was a play on words but sincerely what I felt at the time I met the girl haha.