During a time when face-to-face conversations, handshakes and hugs are discouraged, 12-year-old Emersen Sargent found there is still a way to share a connection with others-through music.
“In the world right now there are a lot of problems and people create a negative reality for themselves. I think a lot of it comes from fear and not knowing the future,” said Sargent.
She wanted to create a song to help inspire people. She said, “Even though things are tough right now, people still need to believe that there is a bright future. I have a quote hanging in my room that says, ‘Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile’."
First, Sargent came up with an idea of what she wanted the song to be about and sat at the piano with Darren Moore. “We worked together writing lyrics to fit with the melody that we had already come up with on the piano. Then I went into the studio and recorded it with Darren at the piano. The harmonies were all done by me too and they took forever. There are so many parts because he wanted me to sound like a choir,” she said.
Moore was classically trained on piano from age 6-14. He said, “Like most kids that age I didn’t really care for it. My parents persistently pushed and pulled me through it, saying someday I would thank them. (I should get around to that). Looking back now, I was at an unappreciative age, where piano and classical music weren’t cool and music theory was more like doing math homework.”
As a young teen, he started to apply that music theory to what he thought were cool instruments; bass, guitar and electronic keyboards. At 14 he was invited to start performing with a local band at various events and clubs and has been doing it ever since. Eventually one of the bands I was a part of, was inducted into the Canadian Rock Hall of Fame.
Moore said, “In addition to performing, I’ve engineered, produced, written numerous songs and scores for various artists, rock bands, sporting teams and television. The sporting highlights for me were writing themes for The Toronto Blue Jays and then the Tampa Bay Rays the year they went to the World Series. The Rays would use the songs I wrote for them as a rallying theme for media and fans, to pump the team up in the locker room before games, to introduce the team to the field and play the theme every time they hit a home run. The team generously gave me a personalized American League Series ring for inspiring them throughout the season. Throughout my tenure I have extensively toured North America with various musical projects, the most recent and current project is Snake Oil.”
Sargent said she wanted their recent song to feel something like “My Heart Will Go On”, the song from the movie “Titanic” or “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban. “So Darren played all the musical parts in his studio, with symphony-like orchestration mixed with fiddles, Irish whistles, bass, piano and drums. We both wanted the instruments to be organic as possible, not all computer-generated made-up sounds, like a lot of newer songs are,” she said.
After the song was finished, a YouTube video was created to pair with it. Sargent said, “It was initially frustrating, because I wanted to use outdoor scenery and the closure of local parks (at the time) and grey weather made it impossible. So I used a green screen so I could cut myself out of the background. I sat and sang the entire song in our backyard. We cut the portion of that video out and then put in the background scenery. I searched online to find inspiring backgrounds that suited the musical theme and feel of the song. The backgrounds I chose are intended to show that the world really hasn’t changed, it’s still as beautiful and alive as ever. It’s really only us that have changed.”
Sargent has enjoyed singing her entire life. “I’m always involved in any musical activities when I can, but I had to unfortunately drop out of school programs last year because I had open heart surgery. I find that music is an outlet to express my emotions, happy, sad or whatever,” said Sargent.
She said she is constantly told how she was singing before she can even remember. “I could sing the lyrics from an entire popular song before I could put a proper sentence together. Apparently I used to flip the laundry basket upside down to use as my stage. My Mom says my showers are extra long, even now, because I don’t leave until my vocal performances are finished,” Sargent said.
Her favorite part of the experience of creating the song and video was to be able to put all of her thoughts into lyrics and have the music to support it. “I believe that it’ll open up new experiences for me. I hope my song inspires people from around the world,” she said.
Sargent lives in Amery and attends school in Clear Lake. She did two other videos of other peoples’ songs, “Let It Be” and “Bubbly”, but this is the first time she helped build something that is original. Sargent said, “It’s uniquely mine and I’m proud of it.”
100 Reasons Why, under the name of Emersen Lane, can be found at: https://youtu.be/vkyzxb4aw-k