‘You Are My Song’ featuring musical theatre star Darren Day & the FASD Choir
New music to raise awareness of children living with FASD
A creative music campaign to promote awareness of FASD
You Are My Song, which JHM was commissioned to write and produce for a charity campaign, is aimed at raising awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The song expresses how it can feel to live with FASD and how music plays a big role in helping people to express their feelings when words fail.
On lead vocals is musical theatre star Darren Day (who arrived fresh at the studio from starring in Footloose!) and singers from the Voice in a Million choir and the FASD choir. We also had the pleasure to work with record the wonderful Premiere Strings at Bluebell Hill Studios near Maidstone.
You Are My Song is available to download from the Adoption UK website and available on all streaming platforms.
Adoption UK & Voice in a Million
Adoption UK is also inviting young people with FASD to get involved by sending in recordings of themselves singing along to the song, which will be added to a future version of the single. To get involved or to buy the song, please visit the Adoption UK website here.
You Are My Song will also be performed live as part of the Voice In A Million event at Wembley Stadium on 14th & 15th March 2023.
Top left: The greatest mic of all! I recorded Darren on this Neumann M49 (I’m so impresssed with it I’m going to write a blog about it…)
Top right: The single artwork
Bottom: We recorded the children’s choir of around 30 children and young people with neurodivergent conditions including FASD for the single, as well as our two wonderful soloists.
The story of composing
You Are My Song
Jo Garofalo from Voice in a Mllion contacted me having seen other work that I’d done in this area and asked if I would write a song for this project. She wanted a song that would raise awareness of FASD and also be wonderful for a choir of young voices to perform at the Voice in a Million event at Wembley Stadium.
The song needed to represent thoughts and feelings shared by those who live with FASD, to be uplifting and to be meaningful as well to all the children and young people who will sing it at the VIAM concert.
The first stage was research, including some long conversations with Jo, who has adopted a child who lives with FASD. She was able to give me first-hand experiences of the challenges they face. I also asked for poems and any writings on subjects that matter to people with FASD. I wanted to understand what emotions are prominent. The next stage was a kind of incubation, when I also listened to songs that have a similar point to make and similar tone.
Following on, I had a few writing sessions where I jammed at the piano playing chord sequences and testing lyric lines until I found the hook into the song.
One of the things that inspired me was how music and singing helps unlock communication for people with FASD. It’s a medium that aids expression, memory and understanding, it helps process the events of the day. And those who support people with FASD use music to connect and help them overcome each day’s obstacles. That’s when You Are My Song formed: as music is an anchor in the lives of people with FASD, so are their supporting and loving family and friends.
Would an original song composition reach people for your cause?
Music is a powerful way to connect with people through creative music campaigns. If you’d like to discuss an idea with James, please get in touch.