BEING diagnosed with lymphoma is nothing to celebrate, but Crookwell-based singer-songwriter Chalkie White has turned it into an opportunity to pay tribute to what matters most.
Released on September 8, Chalkie’s new single, New Day, reminds us we only get one chance at life, and we need to grab it with both hands and make the most of every moment.
The single is resonating with listeners, reaching No. 4 on the iTunes Country Song Chart on release day.
The single and accompanying video clip were written, recorded and shot while the singer- songwriter was undergoing five months of treatment early this year.
Combining footage of Chalkie with his wife and children prior to, and during, treatment, the video shows how cancer and chemotherapy had affected him, and the physical changes he went through in the process, reinforcing the message of the song.
“My cancer journey triggered the song, and the video is all about what is important in my life,” he said.
“It’s not about money or material things, it’s about family and friends and never taking anything for granted.”
The cancer treatment has been mostly successful. There is ongoing treatment and tests as part of being on the spectrum.
But the diagnosis meant Chalkie was faced with his own mortality, fuelling him to chase his musical dreams even harder.
“I’ve been at this (music) thing for a long time, so I thought, ‘if I died tomorrow, what would I have liked to have achieved?’” he said.
“A lot of people have pitched in to make the film clip and song happen, and I can't thank them enough."
The full-time musician has shared his cancer journey with followers throughout treatment, including recording videos and songs at home when he was unable to leave his house because of the effects of treatment on his immune system.
“It was a long time for me not to play music, so sharing those songs, in a way, made me feel like I was on stage, my second home,” he said.
“I wanted to share this song with the world. It’s the longest I haven’t played live music since I started out."