- Feb. 9, 2016
-- How did they come to write the song Perceptions for Autism?
In September of 2015, Josh Stokes, who has Autism, does seminars to explain to people what it is like to live with Autism. Josh approached his friend, American Songwriter Mike Vandeville, to write a song about Autism. Mike eventually called fellow songwriter Lonny Ray and asked if he would be interested in writing the song with them. Lonny Ray took several weeks to think about it and do research on the subject. His research intrigued him so much because he has a granddaughter with a very rare syndrome called Mowat-Wilson Syndrome and he found similarities in the perceptions that people have about those afflicted with such disorders. Lonny Ray called it a divine calling that propelled him to participate in writing this song with Mike and Josh. Mike and Lonny had talked extensively about how they would go about writing the song. They decided to focus on the Perceptions that people have and what Perceptions that those afflicted have. Having a foundation and idea of the direction they were going, they still had no idea how to start it. One day, while Lonny was sitting in his office, another divine intervention came and he began to write what would eventually become the first verse of the song and the direction that the song would take. The first meeting and ultimate writing session that followed between Josh, Mike and Lonny became magical as they sat together learning from each other what Autism meant. Josh gave Mike and Lonny the speech that he had given so many times and Mike and Lonny gave their experience as songwriters to bring this song to life. A partnership was formed that very day in hopes to bring this song to the public. Mike and Lonny gave the bridge to Josh and had him explain what the ultimate message of the song must be. They wanted his deepest feelings and they were able to bring that out from him. The bridge of the song is so powerful that they realized, not only did they pen a song for Autism, they had penned a song for all of those that are afflicted with a social difference. No one likes to be judged, yet we walk through life always being judged. The ultimate message is that people are different. Let’s stop judging each other and embrace each other for all of our own uniqueness.
Having a song meant nothing without first finding the right people to perform the song. Several months went by as they searched for the right people for the job at hand. When they met Taylor Walls, they knew they found the female part. Mike and Lonny had talked about several females before finding Taylor. They were sold on her the first time they heard her sing the song. The next step was to find the male role. After several attempts to pair Taylor with the right male voice, they stumble across someone who was very familiar with the Autism community. Chas Burtchett has a sister with Autism and he penned a song called Christy’s Song for his sister several years back. Chas brings a very powerful voice and passion to the project. They auditioned Chas and paired the two singers together. The song will be recorded in Lansing Michigan in March and ready for release just in time for Autism Awareness month in April.