World Autism Awareness Week 2017
Written by Jamie on 25th March 2017
(The video you can view below)
Music duo The Beautiful Secret release their first single What’s Inside on March 24th, with the track also to be the anthem for this year’s World Autism Awareness Week which takes place from March 27th to April 2nd.
The pair, Rachael Hawnt and Ashley Cutler, will donate all proceeds from the single to the National Autistic Society to raise funds and increase awareness of the condition (which affects around 700,000 in the UK) and the work of the charity.
World Autism Awareness Week is an annual event which encourages involvement from people in many ways, including charity night walks in London, Manchester and Bristol overnight on Saturday April 1st.
The song was inspired by Rachael’s niece Katie-Rae who has been living with Asperger syndrome, part of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and her views about the way she sees the world are reflected in the lyrics in this haunting, thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting composition.
“My beautiful niece Katie-Rae, who is now 16, was born with Autism. She had learning difficulties plus many fears and phobias from the get-go. She has struggled with social situations and depression all of her life, but she is still a strong and loving person with a fantastic artistic flare and a big, big heart.”
“We wanted to write a song to help raise funds and awareness for people living with and being affected by autism. The first person I went to talk to was Katie-Rae; I told her I wanted to write about the way SHE felt, a real perspective from a real autistic child.”
“Katie-Rae was enthusiastic about the prospect of helping others, and making a difference – as small as it may be – to help expand awareness for other children and adults living with Autism. After our long chat that day, What’s Inside started to take shape, but the most poignant thing Katie-Rae said to me was ‘no one ever listens to me’, which we adapted into the opening line.”
Rachael and Ash both pursued their own musical careers through their teens and beyond before hooking up after recommendations from friends they worked on a musical together. Funding difficulties meant the project never came to fruition but they continued their musical partnership, with session work and songwriting for others, before deciding in 2013 to record some of their work themselves under the name The Beautiful Secret. They have played festival dates alongside the likes of Sir Ray Davies and Noel Gallagher.
They have now recorded their debut album, also called The Beautiful Secret, which is being released on April 7th. This elegant collection of ten tracks, some with simple acoustic arrangements and others with full band, draw together touches of folk, soul, emotional ballads, pop and rock with passion, flair and beauty. The duo has also been commissioned to create the soundtrack for forthcoming film release George Best: The Movie which is in production.
What’s Inside is released on March 24th, with the album The Beautiful Secret to follow on April 7th. Further information about WAAW is available at autism.org.uk/get-involved/world-autism-awareness-week.aspx
For more on The Beautiful Secret