Timing is everything. When Stevie Lynne wrote and recorded the single “We Are the People” in 2016, she opted not to create a video for the anthem at that point. “I didn’t feel like the timing was right,” Lynne said while calling from her Spokane Valley home. “It was a weird political climate. I decided against it.”
Four years later, the political climate couldn’t possibly be stranger. The singer-songwriter, who also is a nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center, decided during the summer to create a clip for the song in response to the palpable division.
“When I saw how divided people are and all of the hate and fear and miscommunication, it hit me that it was time to get this out,” Lynne said. “ ‘We Are the People’ is an uplifting, pretty ballad that sounds like it could have been written last week.
“It’s the color of the skin / The expression of our souls / Divides the church and the government / the media headline goals / I’m just a person / You’re just a person / Take away degrees of separation / Mistakes are made / It fuels the fire.”
“What is being said is we’re not political parties or skin tones or genders,” Lynne said. “We’re each a person. That’s what is stressed in the song. We need to come together.”
“We Are the People” was written in Lynne’s former apartment in Browne’s Addition. Lynne, 29, couldn’t get the fallout from the George Zimmerman acquittal out of her mind and was inspired. Zimmerman was on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
“I was thinking about how divisive it was and how everyone had a different perspective,” Lynne said. Those feelings stayed with Lynne for three years, and then she put pen to paper and worked out the song.
“I wrote the song in a half-hour, and I wondered how it would go over. … When I played it, I saw the emotional impact it had on people,” Lynne said.
The video, which was shot during two days as the sun was setting in the Saltese Uplands Conservation Area, is touching. Lynne was joined by co-workers and friends who added their vocals to the tune.
“It went from being my song to our song,” Lynne said. “That’s what the song is all about, which is joining together. It was so much fun performing with my friends.”
Alyssa Boldt, a fellow nurse at Sacred Heart, recorded “We Are the People” with Lynne and participated in the video. “I was super excited when Stevie pulled the trigger on the video,” Boldt said. “We recorded the song so long ago. I wanted her to realize the dream of putting the video out. Now things are just nuts, and we really needed to do this. The timing was perfect, and it was so fun.
“It feels like a big family to me. We worked with (vocalist) Andre (Montgomery) and (drummer) Drey (Davis) in the studio. When you make music with people, they become family. To reunite with some of those people, it was such a blast. It was so much fun to belt out the song in the Saltese Uplands. It wasn’t easy doing this during a pandemic, but we pulled it off.”
Boldt, 31, who alongside Montgomery is a Gonzaga University alumnus, insists that the performers, many of whom are frontline health care professionals, were socially distant even though it doesn’t look like it.
“There were some camera tricks,” Boldt said. “Everyone was spaced out. It was tricky, but it worked.” The project also included Gonzaga’s Big Bing Theory ensemble as the choir and cellist Sean Lamont from the Spokane Symphony.
Give Lynne and Boldt credit for finishing the video since both are very busy working together as nurses in the cardiac/sepsis ward.
It’s not easy pulling double duty, saving lives and trying to unite the masses via art.
“I worked on the COVID unit, and it’s been an interesting experience,” Lynne said. “I remember the first patient who had COVID in our hospital, and I remember fearing it. I thought this could be the end.”
But it was just a new beginning for Lynne, who learned much about the coronavirus and herself in the process. “It was the fear of the unknown at the start of COVID, and we understand a little more about it now,” Lynne said. “I’m doing the best I can as a nurse and as a person. We all have to step up a bit, and I’ve learned that I can step up.
“We work collaboratively to change the life of a patient in our little Spokane town. We try to make a difference so everyone can rise above. If we can do that and accomplish what the song says, which is to come together, then we have something. It’s fun to be together. If you don’t believe me, just watch the video.”
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