This is your Wake Up Call

‘Just listen!’ - A powerful and unanimous message echoed by eight talented young people from Network’s Chronic Illness Peer Support program (ChIPS), and soon to be shared through their debut music project created with the team from ‘We Wrote that’.

The result of this collaboration is an incredibly professional (and catchy) official ChIPS song titled ‘Wake Up Call’, a music video clip, and a documentary about the process. The song was written using ChIPS members lived experiences, and recorded and produced in a professional music studio, luckily just before our current lockdown. Made up of musicians Luke Escombe and Ben Thatcher, ‘We Wrote that’ is an artistic means to give voice to the young people in our healthcare system living with disability and chronic illness.

“It was such a fantastic opportunity to work with people in the industry,” says ChIPS member and lead singer Sky,

“After our initial zoom chat I was amazed at how quickly everything came together. The song was put together with fully fledged verses, melodies, and lyrics using our words from the zoom chat. Luke and Ben had captured our message perfectly.” Sky, ChIPS member. 

ChIPS member Batu, who features in the clip rapping in Turkish, says the day of the recording was the best day ever. “We’re all passionate about music, and without ChIPS we would never have had this opportunity.”

“What emerged most strongly from first meeting between the musicians and ChIPS members was the common frustration the young people felt at not being listened to by the adults in their lives.” Melissa Miller, ChIPS Coordinator, SCHN.

Liv, who has played the flugelhorn, a brass instrument for most of her life, says “It felt really nice to be heard, listened to and understood. At times it can be so frustrating to be told what to do by well-meaning people. If this song helps just one other young person living with a chronic illness or condition it’s all worth it.”

For Sky, it was a week the studio record that it dawned on her what an impact this project could have.

“This is something that will affect people, it will really help people see what we see, and feel how we feel. We’ve all done this and been a part of something that’s really important and meaningful. We’ve worked together to share this important message, and that’s the most beautiful thing about this experience.” Sky, ChIPS member

Wake Up Call will be available on Spotify and Soundcloud, Liv says “While obviously I’m looking forward to my friends and family seeing the documentary and hearing the song, what I really hope is that it’s shown to doctors and health care workers who work with adolescents, to give them an opportunity to really hear how we’re feeling, and what we need.”

Sky agrees that sometimes it seems like health care professionals assume young people can’t think for themselves. She also hopes that the song is heard widely by the general public as they are part of this journey too,

“People who may not have had much experience with young adults with chronic illnesses often feel they need to solve the issues, it can be exhausting being given constant advice that we haven’t asked for, and really don’t need.” Sky, ChIPS member. 

As well as being a wonderfully empowering and creative experience for the ChIPS members to showcase their talents, being able to express this message in a song was also incredibly cathartic, removing all the guilt they often feel in real life when declining unhelpful and unsolicited advice.

 

This project was made possible thanks to funding from Accessible Arts and Create NSW.