ChIPS release "Frequent Flyer - What’s left to Lose" music video
“Frequent Flyer” is a raw and emotive pop song created by young people from the Chronic Illness Peer Support (ChIPS) service that powerfully conveys the experience of being a young person living with a chronic health condition and learning to cope with frequent stays in hospital.
ChIPS is a service run by young people for young people at Sydney Children's Hospitals Network that offers psychosocial support through peer support for young people aged 12-25, living with a chronic health condition(s).
ChIPS members were empowered to write, compose and record the song in collaboration with musicians/producers Luke Escombe and Benny Thatcher from We Wrote That, who are themselves “frequent flyers” living with chronic health conditions.
“The song takes a new perspective on the ongoing experience of young people living with chronic illness in the hospital network,” said ChIPs member Aidan.
“I think it’s really useful for a young person to know there’s a community around them with a phrase we can share. ‘Frequent flyer’ has become a bit of a joke within the community, showing that we deserve our own cards, and we deserve a trip around the world. I think the song shows the strength and resilience of young people living with chronic conditions,” added ChIPs member Cooper.
Using music and song writing as a means of expression has been a powerful outlet for not only ChIPS members but also the musicians involved.
Luke Escombe, one of the musicians who worked with ChIPS member says “Frequent Flyer” was a true collaboration that evolved over many zoom discussions and writing sessions.
“It’s ended up being an expression of not just the individual tastes and talents of the group but of the underlying emotions we all feel about having a lifestyle that involves being in and out of hospital. It shows how powerful music can be in communicating ideas that are often too difficult or painful to put into words”, Luke said.
The song was launched on 16 May at the NSW Health and Arts Framework Forum in front of NSW Health staff including Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning - Deborah Willcox and Chief Executive of Health Infrastructure NSW, Rebecca Wark.
It was received with a standing ovation and the young people involved were invited to speak on their experience and the power of using creative expression to amplify and elevate their voices.
This is the second song that ChIPS has released, after ‘Wake Up Call’ in 2021.
ChIPS gratefully acknowledges the support of Accessible Arts and Health Infrastructure NSW in this project.