Rapper records 'uplifting' fund-raising song in memory of Rugby teen - The Rugby Observer

Rapper records 'uplifting' fund-raising song in memory of Rugby teen

Rugby Editorial 23rd Feb, 2024   0

A CREATIVE rapper and musician from Rugby has been inspired by grief to record an uplifting song in aid of a life-saving Rugby charity.

Jordan Oliver, who goes by the stage name J Lanez, has released a song to raise money for the OurJay Foundation – the charity launched in 2022 by Rugby mum Naomi Rees-Issitt in memory of her son Jamie Rees, who died suddenly at the age of 18 following a cardiac arrest.

Born-and-bred Rugbeian Jordan, 26, who now lives in Coventry, says he found Naomi’s work – to raise awareness of the importance of publicly accessible defibrillators and provide training in life-saving skills – ‘deeply inspiring’.

So he was moved to record and release his track This is OurJay Foundation.

He said: “I heard about Jamie and what Naomi was doing, and I wanted to assist the charity and keep her son’s memory alive.

“I didn’t know Jamie personally, but having lost people I valued, I empathise with her situation and I’m proud to be a part of a positive movement.

“It’s easy to allow anger and depression to take over when we lose our loved ones. I’ve suffered with depression over the years and I try to be the change I want to see.

“It inspired me to see someone turning grief into helping others.”

Jamie Rees and mum Naomi Rees-Issitt.

He wrote the song to explain the charity’s work and celebrate Jamie’s life, with all proceeds going to the Foundation.

“Naomi was so happy to hear her son’s name played on radio in a song that illustrates his positive qualities.”

Jordan says he struggled growing up in what he describes as a ‘street life environment’ where it was ‘rare to come across good people’.

He experienced a ‘wave of anger and sadness’ when his friend, 24-year-old Rugby man Cain Jackson, was fatally stabbed in 2019.

“Losing someone valued to you creates a permanent void in your life,” he said. “It made me realise we are here today and gone tomorrow, so there is no time like the present.

“Ever since I’ve felt the desire of helping others expand massively. I did A-Level equivalents in music and youth work to assist knife crime prevention and encourage creative arts, and I volunteered for two years.”

Jordan began writing lyrics from the age of 11 – but only decided to become a recording artist after Cain’s death. Now he records, mixes and masters his own songs and releases them independently.

“I found writing lyrics to be therapeutic,” he said. “I express my thoughts, feelings and experiences through music.

“Music can be very influential so I use it to uplift people, make people feel someone can relate to their issues, and to steer the youth away from violence.

“In this case I used it to raise awareness for a wonderful charity. It’s an uplifting happy song about the positivity the charity is bringing to stop someone else losing a loved one.”

Naomi Rees-Issitt said she loved the song, adding: “Jamie would love this and I think that’s why I love it so much. It’s upbeat and not morbid at all, but absolutely gets OurJay’s message across – and talks about our precious boy.”

Jordan added: “I am extremely proud to be a part of raising money for the OurJay Foundation. People like Naomi restore my faith in a community that at times can feel broken.”

Visit http://tinyurl.com/34yze5bt to listen to and buy the song for a minimum of £1, with all proceeds going straight to the OurJay Foundation.

The charity has so far funded the installation of over 130 defibrillators across the region. Visit www.ourjay.org.uk for more information.

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