Danny Wood and Jessie Chris’ new duet: “Being bullied, music was my bodyguard.”
Danny Wood, member of New Kids On The Block, and Billboard Artist to Watch Jessie Chris, have teamed up for a duet titled ‘Bodyguard’ that focuses on anti-bullying.
Jessie visited over 100 schools across the country to speak about this subject, inspiring Danny to write the track in collaboration with her. In an exclusive interview with United by Pop, the two open up about the meaning of this song and its intended impact.
What can you tell me about your duet and new single, ‘Bodyguard’, and how it was inspired?
Danny: Well, the song came to me because I know Jessie’s manager, and he sent me some of her music and also some YouTube links to hear her speak at the schools she’s gone to about anti-bullying. I listened to the speeches [and] listened to the music and started taking some notes down and wrote the song. I then sent it off to them and Jessie liked it. We went to the studio in Boston and recorded it and shot the video the same day! I hope everyone likes it!
Jessie: For me, it was just really meaningful that he (Danny) took time to watch videos of me speaking to kids in schools about bullying, let alone write a song to record [with me]. The meaning for me is that, being bullied, music was my bodyguard. It was my outlet, and it was something that made me feel safe and happy after school when I maybe didn’t have a great day. I think that a bodyguard can be a lot of different things… not necessarily just a person.
What makes this song different than what you have both released in the past?
Danny: Well, I’ve never done a duet, so it was really cool to write and record the song with Jessie. I’m really happy with the final result!
Jessie: I feel the exact same way and have the same thoughts! I’ve never recorded a duet before and never imagined it would be with Danny from New Kids On The Block, but it was so cool. It was a great experience!
If you could take this song and perform it on any stage, like an award show or music festival, where would you want to perform it and why?
Danny: I’d like to perform it at one of the schools [Jessie spoke at] to bring it all back to how the song got inspired. Jessie’s really young to already have a lot figured out and in the music business, it’s tough as it is. She’s already given back, and, to me, it shows the person she is and the heart she has.
Is there any other music you guys have worked on or are planning on working on together in the future to be released?
Danny: Right now, we’re just focused on ‘Bodyguard.’ We’re trying to get as many people as we can to listen to it and hopefully people share it. It’s a good thing to play for kids these days who are going through it.
What can you tell us about the music video for it?
Jessie: That was just really natural! It was kind of just capturing the day. Danny kind of came up with the concept and the vision for it. That was his idea, but it almost didn’t feel like we were filming a video. We were [just] hanging out in the studio and recording a song.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Danny: It’s already been a pretty full year for me, and I have stuff coming ahead with the New Kids. I’m really focused on ‘Bodyguard.’ I’m really proud of it, and I want people to listen.
Jessie: Yeah! I’m really focused on this too right now, and later in the year I’m excited to get back into the studio and record more songs and keep promoting my book! Also, I’m really excited to see what happens [with ‘Bodyguard’].
What is something fun or interesting you learned about each other through this process?
Jessie: I learned a couple of things! Something pretty meaningful is that Danny, even though he is a big celebrity with a huge career, is so down to earth and humble. If you had no idea who he was, you would have no idea he was a superstar because he’s so down to earth. That was inspiring to me, to see that you can still be a really awesome person who cares about other people’s feelings and your fans even though you’re a really big celebrity. Also, I learned that New Kids On The Block had a board game, and I found it on eBay, so I’m really excited and waiting for it to come in the mail.
Danny: I learned that Jessie loves board games!
What is going to seperate this song from songs you have done in the past?
Danny: I’ve never done a duet before, but I think the subject matter is very important and it’s relevant for young kids today.
What advice would you give to kids who are be bullied or going through hard times?
Jessie: I would say that my advice is, as hard as it sounds, to ignore the bullies because as long as you’re happy with the person that you are, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say or what they think. It’s a lot easier said than done. You can’t get hung up on the one negative comment, you have to focus on the positive. Ignore the bullies and focus on the positive!