A man who suffered significant brain injuries has said that learning to DJ has “really awakened his brain”.

David Wilson, 38, was stabbed in his right eye in an unprovoked attack in 2005, with the blade penetrating his brain.

Since then, he has been training to be a drum’n’bass DJ, under the mentorship of Wiltshire DJ Emma Ryalls, with his first show having taken place in Salisbury this weekend (May 17)

“My thinking is a bit blurred,” he explained to the BBC about the long-term effects of his injury. “I can’t focus or anything for too long without getting confused. I’m learning to walk again now.”


Wilson had already been a drum’n’bass MC before the incident, saying it was “something I’ve always loved doing”. Indeed, the learning process of becoming a DJ is something that has helped him recover some of the abilities that had previously been thought lost.

“It’s really awakened his brain,” said his mother Kim.


“Significantly,” David added, continuing that he is now able to listen to a song and learn it word for word: “I’ve got a superpower.”

The positive effects of music on the brain have been displayed in other stories in recent months.

In January, a cancer patient played Deftones and System of a Down songs on guitar during an operation to remove a tumour in his head. Christian Nolen took the unusual step at the request of his neurological team in Miami, as he needed to be awake during the procedure in order to avoid major damage.

“The surgeries actually become much more dangerous [when the patient is asleep] because you can take out a tumour that involves normal brain function and cause real harm without knowing it,” said Ricardo Komotar MD.


Similarly, a Taylor Swift fan reportedly sung the singer’s songs while undergoing brain surgery in March.

36-year-old Selena Campione said: “I hear her music 24 hours a day, in my car, in my house. I could sing with her on stage, if she wanted me to. So it just made sense to sing it during surgery. It helped me, I felt like my daughters were with me.”

She reportedly sang “22”, “Shake It Off” and “Style” during the operation, calling the operation “fantastic”: “I didn’t feel anything. The nurses were holding my hand, walking me through everything and singing along with me. I even think I’ve turned the doctors into Swifties. You see them in one of the videos tapping along to the beat with their tools.”