Down Right Incredible: Belfast Musician Releases Single In Aid of Down Syndrome Charities

Belfast musician Stefan Murray, 51, has released a single in aid of Down Syndrome charity Down Right Incredible and Hanwood Down Syndrome Football Club. 

The single, Down Right Incredible, was inspired by Stefan’s own experience. His two-year-old son Killian was born with Down Syndrome after being told he had a one in seven chance of having the condition. 

Killian had a heart problem with an aortic arch which constricted his breathing with his life having to be saved on numerous occasions by staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital. 

“Killian is two years of age but he’s more like a 6 month old because of his C.V.I (Cerebral visual impairment) and Down Syndrome. He still can’t talk or walk”, said Stefan.

“His first year was very hard because of his breathing problem so he spent it in hospital pretty much. But now he smiles, laughs and plays and melts our hearts. We are so lucky to have him.”

Down Right Incredible, based in Saintfield, is a charity close to Stefan’s heart: “They run days out for families with kids with Down Syndrome. The kids get the chance to hang out with siblings so they can experience ‘normal’ kids and vice versa.

“This environment is beneficial for kids with no special needs and the ones with the extra chromosome because they learn that being different is not a bad thing.

“Support groups are an amazing thing where you meet parents who have gone through what you have and give you information on help available and what you will experience next. It’s priceless.”

This was the inspiration for Down Right Incredible, a song that came to Stefan in a dream. 

“I woke up one morning from a dream where I wrote a song. I picked up the guitar and wrote Down Right Incredible. 

“I then asked the Facebook community for help with the song. When it came to getting the band together, I supported Pat McManus and Toby Jepson in the past so I was cheeky and just asked. The other guys are friends that just wanted to help after seeing my appeal on Facebook. I did the writing session with my friends Phil, Alan and Keith from a band called Blind Muse.

“I couldn’t have done it without them.”

The single will also raise funds for the Down Syndrome Football Club at Hanwood, East Belfast. Run by ​​ex-Linfield and Glentoran professional football player Norman Kelly, Oscar winner James Martin coaches at the club. 

Recorded at Einstein Studios in Antrim and produced by Frankie McClay, Stefan is not alone on the single, with many other musicians featuring on the track. Planet Rock DJ Toby Jepson lends his vocals. 

Texan drummer Dustin Gauvain also on the song: “I’ve known Stefan for over 20 years. I’ve shared my music and vice versa over the years with him. Then when the opportunity came around to finally collaborate I didn’t even think twice. 

“My love for him and his family was all the motivation I needed to help out a brother in need. Killian means a ton to me and I knew helping bring awareness through my craft was a way I could give back to him and other kids going through the same things.” 

Baz Francis also features along with Pat McManus of Mamas’ Boys on fiddle with bass coming from Jim Seymour of local band Sinocence. Baz has known Stefan for over a decade: “his immediate generosity towards me is something that I’ve always remembered and has eventually led to my involvement in his ‘Down Right Incredible’ single. 

“As someone who’s got a cousin with Down Syndrome, the matter at hand here is one that is close to my heart, so it was a pleasure to sing for both the cause and the people involved in this project.”

Down Right Incredible is available to download from Bandcamp. All proceeds will go to Down Right Incredible and Hanwood Down Syndrome football club. 

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