I write honest music, generally about my personal experiences in this world and appreciate what that means to an audience. It has been incredible to have audiences share their stories with me when they’ve heard their truth in mine, when the words have sounded like their own. The format of their experience most often differs to mine, but the general emotional experience is the same. The notion of shared human experience is a powerful one, especially when you’re dealing with your own suffering. The idea that you are not alone in that pain is of some comfort and the fact that my music contributes in some way means a lot to me because I often work through my own turmoil through music that moves me, so I appreciate the power that a song holds.
“Believe”, a song I wrote a little over a year ago for my new album, has received the biggest emotional reaction since including it in my solo set. I wrote the song just after I left my day job to do music fulltime, and the song has meant a lot to me on a personal level and plays an important role in inspiring me to keep going. Essentially, it reminds me where I’m coming from, how far I’ve come, where and who I want to be, and to keep believing in the dream, and up until now, it has fundamentally meant the same thing to the audiences who have shared their stories. But on Friday night, these words about courage and belief spoke to a different journey.
I played a fundraiser for a 3 year old who needed R200,000 to get to Austria for medical treatment. His parents have been furiously committed to raising enough funds to help their son, with this last event on Friday night in a long series of efforts by this brave family, and I am thrilled to say they now have enough to get to Austria. At the end of my set I played “Believe” as a small tribute to their courage and strength through this incredible journey, and it was probably the most rewarding, most meaningful moment I’ve had as a songwriter thus far. To me, the song is about believing in and following ones dream, but having managed to find hope for her son’s future, hearing these words about personal power and bravery, his mother wept.
To have a song that spoke to her courage, to the hope that she held onto with such conviction in a journey very different to my own, was an incredibly moving and inspiring moment. I love what I do. I live for it. Sharing my story has been incredible, but it is moments like this that make my songwriters heart smile.
(Read more about 3 year old Jason Long’s journey here.)