Growing up in a winter country can be a tough slog.
But the cold, dark months that bring us down can also spark some amazing creative and athletic achievements, says Red Deer singer/songwriter Kayla Williams.
She was inspired by this notion to write the song Something Right for the closing ceremony of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Williams thought back to her own Alberta childhood for the lyrics: We grew up where there’s nothing to do, where the ground is flat and the sky is blue…
“It’s about how we live in the dark for half the year, so we have to create our own fire,” said Williams.
“We have to find something we are passionate about and pursue it.”
For the young athletes in the 2019 Canada Winter Games, winters are a training ground to test their mettle in sports ranging from curling to speedskating, aerial skiing to hockey.
For Williams it’s when she “hunkers down” to write music that is later performed during summer-time tours.
If Canada was warm all year, she thinks “I’d be distracted… The only bonus of living in such a dark, cold place is that you get time to focus on your own thing.”
Williams was asked to come up with a song for the closing ceremony by its Ontario-based organizers, who liked what they heard on her website.
“I was so excited,” said Williams, who was given wide latitude about how to approach the project. Organizers only asked that the song have a “big ending” and an up tempo.
She started with a goal of finding a universal theme. “I wanted to be able to keep it in my set so that people wouldn’t necessarily know it was about a sporting event.”
At the same time she wanted it to resonate with the young athletes at the games who, she hopes, will leave the closing ceremony humming it.
The music and lyrics came to Williams quickly. She crossed her fingers that games organizers would like it too.
The song got the thumbs up from them, and her band.
Williams, a graduate of the Red Deer College music program, is a bit nervous about performing it for a full house audience at the Centrium on March 2. As the closing ceremony is to be televised on TSN, she realizes it could open up new career opportunities.
“This is our moment, as they say,” said Williams, who later plans to release Something Right to iTunes, and other online music distributors.
She suspects that her moment — singing for thousands of people from across the country and in her hometown — could well be an emotional one.