Thursday, August 9, 2012

With a Song in Her Heart: Musician's contribution to sexual abuseawareness

[caption id="attachment_16054" align="alignleft" width="180"] Darcy Jeavons, Singer/Songwriter[/caption]

Carol Forsloff — Darcy Jeavons is a singer/songwriter who carries on the tradition of many musicians throughout history, alerting people to the problems in society. After all, it was the folk singers who stood beside the activists in the March on Washington for civil rights in 1963. And it remains the purview of musicians to take up the banner along with others in the struggle against social problems.   For Jeavons the cause is teenage sexual abuse.

Jeavons, who is one of the most popular of the female singers on a site called Fandalism, was asked to perform music at an event sponsored by a non-profit organization called I Am Gonna Tell. The organization was formed to teach young victims to speak out if they are being abused. From this beginning, Jeavons went on to write her song with the title I Am Going to Tell, a song that has deep meaning for a singer whose heart was touched by her association with those activists involved in helping sexual assault victims.

According to Jeavons, she became interested in the organization and its concerns after interacting with the founder, Janet DuBry. DuBry told Jeavons about her own personal history when her daughter was assaulted by DuBry's boyfriend and found the daughter was too scared to discuss what had happened. The teenager had been convinced not to discuss the assault with her mother by the boyfriend who had intimated that DuBry would not believe her daughter.  This touching story on how the organization I Am Gonna Tell was founded made Jeavons recognize how deep and emotionally-laden sexual abuse can be for the victims and their families.

Jeavons says that in the course of learning about the organization she learned to recognize "abusers only have control when they convince their victims that they better not tell anyone, or else suffer the consequences. So the power lay in the realization that by speaking about your abuse, you could take away their power, and end the suffering. So before I played at the event with my other musicians, I thought it would be nice to show up with an original song for the cause. I felt so strongly about the  need to get sexually abused children and teens to know that no matter how they felt, they had to tell someone….and so, the song was born."

The song is named after the organization, I Am Going to Tell.

Jeavons was enrolled full time at California State University Long Beach Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at the time she began her association with the organization I Am Going to Tell. Her schedule was very demanding because of the requirements of the school and also because Jeavons is a single mother. Still she explored the problem with DuBry, as she learned about the problems of sexual abuse and how critical it is to get victims to talk about their experience and their hurts.

In January 2012, "the wheels were put in motion." for the song's creation and development into a song video, Jeavons said.  She went on to describe how the music video concepts were discussed and how she had help from a fellow worship leader at a church in Huntington Beach, Matthew Darren Nuss. Jarvons went on to describe how important this association became. "Matt was a contestant on American Idol, and had many connections in the industry. The producer of his church’s album, Jeff McCullough from Tree Hill Media, said he wanted to come on board with us, and he produced the single, as well as brought a client he was managing in to sing the lead vocal – young Alani Claire. Alani was perfect for the song, and could appeal to the audience the song was aimed at. And although there were many times the production had to be put on hold for short periods, the end product was/is phenomenal. This was all done free of charge (except for the video, which I personally paid for… I figured that’s where God wanted the money to go that I had saved up – and it was worth it.)"

Many song writers talk about being inspired when they compose. When asked about the actual process of creating the song, Jearvons told this journalist, "I honestly can say that is sort of a blur. The song was written in probably an hour. The lyrics came to me, and I tried to get the feeling across that no one is alone, and no matter what, just tell. I wanted the song to have a driving beat, almost a call to action feel – like a feeling of running and telling. I also wanted it composed in a style that could cross a wide variety of genres so that anyone could perform it. But mostly, I would have a picture in my mind of teens sitting in their bedrooms with their guitars, playing the song along with a YouTube video, and always knowing they are not alone. That is the vision I have for the song."

The song is important to Jearvons for its message, a very important one. She tells us that "if I can help save one life, I would be happy. If I could save many, I would be happier. But I must give all the credit to God, because I could not have done this without Him. He is always at my side, and I truly believe He wrote this song - not me. I was just along for the ride. And I thank Him every day for that privilege."

This song  I Am Gonna Tell is available to view on YouTube, Fandalism, and has its own I Am Gonna Tell Music Video Facebook page. A Twitter acct. is in the making. The song is available on iTunes, Amazon, and other pay websites where proceeds go to the "I Am Gonna Tell" nonprofit organization. The song also can be found on Soundcloud and as a free download."

For Jeavons, this not about the money - it’s all about the message. And in writing the song Jeavons joins the legions of songwriters over centuries who have made music the vehicle to translate human experience into ways people will understand and feel and to transform hearts as well.

The following are some of the links where people can find the song video.