Smile Bexx

Raising money for Brain Injury

Views On Smile

It’s easy to view music as something that is made for purely aesthetic or recreational reasons; the disposable and commercial attitude towards modern creations has probably taken its toll on even the finer things within society. We should remember that often the pure intention of creating is often just as important, even more so, than the finished product. This creation process can often be the more important aspect of the work, or as the saying goes, it is better to travel well, than to arrive.

No better proof of this fact is the story behind a fantastic little single called Smile. When Bexx, the driving force behind the piece, was involved in a serious car accident when aged 6, her life changed forever. The ongoing rehabilitation process has proved to be an arduous though not unrewarding process. Although left with major physical injuries, it is often the less tangible damage that is the most difficult to assess.

The story behind the song begins whilst Bexx was taking her GCSE at school and found great difficulty writing essays, more specifically was having problems transferring the information in her mind to a finished flow of words on the paper in front of her. This is one symptom of what is known as Cognitive Impairment and is often associated with Traumatic Brain Injury. TBI can manifest itself within a wide range of skills that we all use as part of our very nature, with out thinking about them, skills that control memory, concentration, speed of thought, language, reasoning, self-awareness and perception.

If there is a catalyst behind the birth of the song it is Jennifer Berry who was part of a multi-disciplinary team of occupational therapists, psychologists, neurologists, physiotherapists and teachers who were working to aid Bexx’s rehabilitation. Triggered by the fact that she was always singing and had an obvious love of music, the idea that writing a song as a way of aiding communication was an obvious step. It was to this end that Jennifer’s partner, Jon Buckett and their friend Colin Moulding , both experienced musicians and producers, took on the task of bringing the song to fruition. They bought the song to life musically speaking, both playing on and producing, assorted backing vocalists where roped in and the end result is Smile.

And what a wonderful tune it is, an innocent, upbeat pop ballad that mixes Bexx’s honest and heartfelt vocals with an infectious sing-along chorus and a warm, piano driven depth that you would expect knowing the musical back grounds of the producers.

What is most telling in these times were everyone seems obsessed with the idea of celebrity and having their own fifteen minutes of fame is that Bexx only wish is that the song can be used to raise awareness and money for people undergoing similar recovery processes. Something that in itself is pretty selfless in these cynical and materialistic times.

And although the whole process has ended up creating a great single that can hopefully be used to help others, the most important aspect is probably the creation process. Hard though it was for her initially, together all parties involved have found a way, albeit it a fairly unconventional way, to help her move forward. The message is no matter what adversity life throws at you, there is always a way, you just need to find the courage, hold on to hope and most importantly of all…Smile.


A review by Dave Franklin