Nashville’s Matthew West honors a longtime fan with a heartfelt anthem about ALS awareness

From the early days of his career, Matthew West has decided to write and record songs that are “more than just three-minute pieces of music,” and hopes his latest release will deliver on that promise once again.

On Friday, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter unveiled the music video for “Wonderful life”, His last song. She wrote the song after speaking to Ronald Janca, a Texas fan, on Zoom in 2020. Three years earlier, Janca had been diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS attacks the nerve cells responsible for muscle control and progresses rapidly. According to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Strokemost patients die within three to five years of being diagnosed with ALS.

“I thought I’d play his favorite song and maybe encourage him during his final days, but Ron had other plans,” West, five times Grammy nominee, remembered. “He spent the entire call encouraging me and I was almost speechless. He didn’t know that I was really discouraged at the time, but I was struck by his words and the thought that this guy was fighting his own battle, yet he was able to see beyond to talk to me about life during mine. ” .

Check out the “Wonderful Life” music video below.

Janca died shortly after that exchange. Upon learning of his fan’s death, West immediately began writing the lyrics for “Wonderful Life” as a tribute. The video for the song includes footage of West’s Zoom call with Janca, as well as archive photos of Janca with her friends and her family.

While “Wonderful Life” was inspired by his experience of meeting Janca, West hopes that listeners from all walks of life will be able to relate to his message.

“Nobody can escape the difficult things, but there are good things to discover even in the difficult things,” he said. “Squeeze every ounce of life out of the only life you get. That’s what Ron did.”

West, with whom he collaborated Rascal Flatts, Carly Pearce and other artists throughout his career, is releasing “Wonderful Life” ahead of May’s ALS Awareness Month. The song is part of his upcoming “concept project” which will also include her current single, “Me in your mind. ” In September you intend to publish a new book.

The musician’s latest works are the result of nearly two years of unexpected inactivity due to COVID-19, during which he poured into writing.

“I remember thinking, ‘Just because the tour bus is parked, I have to find a way to move forward,’” West said. “Perspective is a powerful thing, and when you take the perspective that so many people around you are fighting a tough battle, you have less time to focus on your problems and more of a desire to be a light to someone else during their longer period. dark times. “

“That kind of perspective leads us to a real sense of purpose in our lives,” he added. “These past two years have taught me that, and so much more.”

“Nobody gets away from the hard stuff, but there are good things to discover in the hard stuff too,” said West, shown here at a 2020 show.

Jason Davis via Getty Images

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