Country music is known for lyrics about real life and family, and one local singer-songwriter is using his music as a way to raise awareness for those with special needs.
Forsyth County resident Troy Griffith recently debuted his new song, “Ten by Twelve,” a song about a young girl with special needs and her struggles that was written for his daughter, Lilly, 10, who has Down syndrome.
“The story [fits] because Lilly did have a lot of issues and just how much joy she gives us and what parents go through on a daily basis with special needs kids,” Griffith said.
Griffith said the song “kind of tells my daughter’s story” and refers to various moments in her life.
“It just kind of came about because a room is ten by twelve [feet],” he said. “The first part they’re talking about the nursery and the room 10 by 12. Then she got bullied by kids at school, so she’s in her room, 10 by 12. Then the hospital room, 10 by 12.”
Griffith recorded the audio for the song at Arkatek Recording Studio in Norcross and it was produced, at no cost to Griffith, by Nashville’s Blackbird Studio, owned by county music superstar Martina McBride.
“It’s a tearjerker, but in a good way, I think,” he said. “It’s country, which is tearjerker stuff, but I think the song has a good meaning.”
Mann Robinson shot the music video, which features shots of Griffith singing in the studio and other scenes of Lilly and her Coal Mountain Elementary School classmates Hailey Duncan and Sam Van Winkle paying at Charleston Park on Lake Lanier.
While the song has started to pick up traction – including getting playtime on internet radio and more than 2,200 views, as of press time – Griffith said no one is a bigger fan than Lilly.
“She knows a lot of sign language. She can say words and stuff, and [has a sign for] ‘Daddy,’” Griffith said. “She’s always like, ‘Let’s watch Daddy. Daddy.’ Probably the first 200 views were her. She likes seeing herself. She doesn’t understand, but she knows she sees her and her friends on TV.”
Despite the high production value of the song and video, Griffith said his music experience had only been playing drums when he was younger and winning “several karaoke contests.”
“I’ve always been able to sing country, but I have three kids and I’m in the mortgage business and just kind of having to pay for stuff, I put it on the back burner,” he said.
Locally, the song has gotten a lot of attention, including being shared more than 200 times on a local Facebook group.
“I had to turn my volume down because all night, my phone was going, ‘Bing. Bing. Bing,’” he said. “I was like, ‘This song may be bigger than I was thinking.’ I’m just getting started, but I want to get it out there.”
Griffith said he hopes to eventually use the song to raise money for local groups aimed at helping those with special needs.
“I just wanted the song to be a tribute for not only those with Down syndrome, it talks about cancer kids, autism, it’s just a whole special-needs type song,” Griffith said.
Griffith’s music can be found on Youtube.com by searching Troy Griffith Music or visit bit.ly/2Yrw9qA.