The UK is still reeling from the events of Grenfell Tower. Several artists have produced tracks in tribute to those who lost their lives in this tragedy. The latest artist to wade into these sensitive waters is urban poet, singer and songwriter Stephan Dante. Her song ‘Grenfell Lament’ is a powerful yet heart-wrenching poem come song with a classical background sweetened with a smidgen of Gospel.
We re-posted her post at the beginning of the week stating that this piece of work would be made available to the public today and we were lucky enough to be able to get a sneak preview of the track before its release to the general public. We also had the opportunity to speak to both the writer and singer Stephan Dante and the producer of the track Stevie Eagle E from Shlepp Entertainment.
We asked Stephan Dante what made her decide to write a song about Grenfell Tower?
It was not meant to be a song. It was meant to be a poem. Like many others, I was moved deeply and angered immensely by what happened at Grenfell Tower. There are tragedies happening all over the world and this is no different. They all affect me, especially as a mother when they involve children. However, with Grenfell, I could relate even more deeply for several reasons: It’s close to where friends and family live. It was something I could see happening to me as I have lived in places like this and I could not disassociate myself from the circumstances as we often do when these types of things occur.
I express myself mostly through my poetry and therefore that is what I decided to do, write a poem from a mothers perspective, from a woman’s perspective. I wanted to express the pain of it all, the frustration and helplessness of it all, but at the same time, I wanted to express hope. The hope I have that helps me navigate tragedies in my own life.
So how did it become a song?
Well, that’s the interesting part. As you do when you are a poet, you write stuff and then let others read it to see how it affects them, to get feedback, or to just see if they ‘get it’ or not. I read the poem to Stevie Eagle E and he loved it and told me straight away this needs to be put to music. At first, I was against the idea because I could not see how it could be made into a song. I did not write it as a song. Poems and songs have different structures, they are different disciplines.
He convinced me in the end by telling me I did not need to structure it like a song, all I had to do was sing from the heart, sing my poem from the heart in any way I felt and that he would get a piano player to just work around whatever I came up with. So that’s what we ended up doing. We went into the studio and there was a piano player there and I started singing it and he just kinda started playing along with me and before long we were in perfect sync. It just grew from there.
There are times in the studio when you just hit this great vibe and everything is very organic and flows. Stevie then started calling musicians from all over the place to just come and jump on it and before you know it we had a mini orchestra going on. It was a great experience something I would love to do again.
What are you hoping listeners will get from your Song/Poem?
Solace really, hope, release. I am not sure. I hope they get it that I understand, that I empathise as well as sympathise with them. I hope that if they play it and they feel it and that it helps them in some way. It helped me to write it. It helped me to sing it, and it helped me to work on it with others. I’m a mother of two young kids. I can imagine all too vividly what it must have been like trying to get out of that building with my children and then getting out only to find one of them is not beside me.
We also had the opportunity to speak to the producer of the track Stevie Eagle E and we asked him how he felt about Grenfell Lament.
Obviously I love it, otherwise, I would not have done it. I only do what I love these days. I grew up in that area. From my mum’s house, you could see the flames. Back in the days, I had peeps living in there, although I do not know if anyone I know was in there. When she showed me the poem it hit home and I immediately thought this needs to go to music, so I convinced her and made it happen.
It started off very simple, but me being me I just kept asking people to put their vibe on it and built it up a little. It’s not a traditional song in a traditional song format. It truly is a poem put to music. I love it though and It gets the point across.
Grenfell Lament will be available only from Stephan Dantes website for a week. You can download it for free or play it as much as you like. It will be then released to all major online store outlets like Itunes and Spotify, so get in there and download it for free while you can at https://www.stephandante.com/music
At Global News Ink we love the track and we think it will resonate with a lot of people.