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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Musician and Disability Activist Cola Boyy, Who Championed Multiple Disabilities, Died at 34

Cola Boyy Instagram/@colaboyy

Disability activist and singer Matthew Urango, better known as Cola Boyy, passed away at 34. Cola Boyy's manager, Jack Sills, announced his passing on Instagram, "Anyone who knew Matthew knows he had a larger than life personality." He continued, "He was always the life of the party and could chop it up with anyone. He was also one of the most talented and down to earth people I've ever met. His humor and natural charisma endeared him to whoever he met. Matthew cared enormously for his family, friends and community which he often expressed through his music. He had just finished his next album and was excited to start releasing new music this summer. I will continue to work with his family and @recordmakers to make sure this happens. Love you homie. Cola Boyy Forever!"

Cola Boyy was born with spina bifida, kyphosis, and scoliosis. Despite his ailments and prosthetic leg, he championed his disorders —Cola played the bass in the indie-pop group Sea Lions, eventually becoming well-known in Oxnard, California's punk music scene. He celebrated his disability with the album "Prosthetic Boombox." Cola Boyy also performed disco and funk music and represented his multicultural background: Scottish, Portuguese, Chumash, Mexican, and African American, identifying as Afro-Latina. He had several hit songs, especially "Penny Girl" and "Buggy Tip." 

According to The Los Angeles Times, his manager, Sills, described him as "a community organizer who advocates for local immigrants & agricultural workers." He dedicated his life to raising awareness about disabilities, migrant workers, etc., and advocating for change. The LAT reports that Cola Boyy had "just finished his next album and was excited to start releasing new music this summer. 

He leaves behind his parents, a younger brother, a fraternal twin brother, and other relatives, friends, and fellow artists. 

Rest easy.

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