I have been preaching to my musician friends for a good while now- that the story behind the music is almost (and in some cases is) as important as the music itself. This has been my mantra for quite some time now as in this time of humanity there is more music being produced and consumed than in any other time in history. In order to be heard- you have to be extraordinary... your story has to be extraordinary... your music has to be extraordinary.
Zach Sobiech was extraordinary.
If you have not heard his story, or seen his numerous videos- Zach was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 14 and battled the cancer until it took his life just three days ago. Zach was extraordinary. One of the ways Zach coped with his terminal illness was in song. He wrote a song that he uploaded to youtube as a way to say goodbye to his loved ones. The song went viral and his story was picked up by Soul Pancake and turned into a short documentary, then the video was amended by the many celebrities that his story had touched and was turned into the celebrity version of the video. The combined social power of these videos netted nearly 12 million youtube views as of today.
His story touched me in the deepest of places as a father, and a musician. It is really amazing to see someone in the face of such daunting odds turn to music and positive emotion to see himself, his family and friends through the impending end of his life... and to then leave a legacy as strong as music and song itself behind for others to enjoy, learn from and grow from.
Today as I logged into iTunes (embarrassingly) looking for the new Flo-rida single, I was shocked and pleased to see that Zach has topped the iTunes singles chart. In just 18 years he accomplished so much and all through his powerful story, his positive outlook, and the love he shared with others. Dont tell me that the context does not matter. This kid was all context. And he succeeded and achieved what millions would only hope to achieve (in a musical sense). update: Proceeds and donations are going to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.
I dont know Zach, but it is my hope that he is out there smiling down on all of the positive energy he created and the wonderful musical legacy he left us. Download this. You wont regret it.