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'The Will' a perfect theme song for charity concert

Published:Friday | June 15, 2018 | 12:13 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Writers of 'I Will', Ewan Simpson and Oshin Levy.

When the curtains came down on the 2018 staging of the Powerful Women and Men Perform for Charity concert, the audience made their exit to the lively rhythm of the show's theme song, The Will.

The Will was written by Ewan Simpson, musical director of the National Dance Theatre Company, and Oshin Levy, lead vocalist for the gospel group Levy's Heritage. Both met in 2012 when Levy's Heritage entered the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Gospel Song Competition. Simpson was their musical director.

The Gleaner caught up with both at the end of the well-executed concert to talk about writing the theme song.

"It wasn't my idea to write the song for this show, but I was thinking about writing a song, an inspirational song, and it was something that was literally different, and so, as I sometimes do, I dragged Oshin into the writing project," Simpson said.

"We wrote the song, and we fought over the words and the melody, but we finally agreed on something."

In a production meeting for the concert, the idea to have a theme song - a song that would embody the purpose of the show - came up.

Simpson said that after they left the meeting, Oshin told him, "The Will is the perfect song'. I said, 'I wrote that for something else.' But Levy insisted, and her persistency bore fruit as he finally agreed.

Levy, who was working on the production for the first time, said she was convinced when she learnt that the concert was about giving back to the Mustard Seed Communities - those who need the help the most. "The Will speaks about giving back to our fellow men, changing our minds, and I thought about it, and instantly, it clicked that The Will is the song."

Simpson added, "The concept of the song is that you can do what is necessary to make it happen, so "starting with me" [one of the lines in the song] is a call to action. But the song is really about driving yourself. Make sure it happens to your fellow man, but start with yourself. It is like the man in the mirror," Levy added.

The next phase is to produce the song, using the same performers and band that were used at the concert. "[We are] Going in the studio and getting it done and then giving it some production support and some marketing support so that the song can actually take a life of its own and can also help to raise funds for Mustard Seed Communities," Simpson said of the next step.