Twenty-five years after its first release, and on the very date it hit the Christmas Number 1 spot, original label, London Records, in conjunction with Waltham Forest: London Borough of Culture 2019, today releases a brand new recording of the classic East 17 Christmas No1 Stay Another Day.
The new version, specially arranged by acclaimed composer Joe Duddell (New Order, Elbow, Richard Hawley, Everything Everything and Daughter) features the 100-strong Waltham Forest Youth Choir accompanied by East London Brass, with East 17 founding member and writer of the original song Tony Mortimer on keys. Waltham Forest Youth Choir is formed of young people aged between 11 and 16, from schools across the borough.
This reworked version of the Christmas classic will be released through East 17’s original label London Records, 25% of the proceeds generated from all sales of the single will be donated to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), the charity leading a movement against suicide.
Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and London Records have chosen to re-record the track to remind people that we need to look after one another, and to celebrate life.
Tony Mortimer said ‘Everyone remembers Stay Another Day as a Christmas record, but underneath the white parkas and fake snow is a song about male mental health and a story about my brother who took his own life. CALM is a charity very close to my heart and I hope this release gives people who are struggling the confidence to speak up and seek help.’’
Local participant, 12-year old Kevin Coman agrees: ‘This project has raised my confidence a lot and has inspired me to do more work with music. Taking part in the Waltham Forest Youth Choir and the music video has taught me that there are a lot of good people out there and that I should use them as role models to work harder and not only be a better musician but be a better person in general. The song is very emotional it makes me feel like the people I’m singing with our family in a way, I just feel a bond with everyone.’
Sam Hunt, Creative Director, Waltham Forest: London Borough of Culture 2019 said: ‘This is the perfect way to end our year as the first-ever Mayor’s London Borough of Culture. It has been great to see co-creation in action with everyone working together to create this incredible version of a classic song. Releasing this now, in 2019, is a testament to the creative talent of Waltham Forest past, present and future. We are proud to be able to do this in partnership with CALM and highlight the importance of art and culture in relation to mental wellbeing.’
Simon Gunning, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), said: ‘There's such a powerful message behind Stay Another Day and we're delighted to be a partner in this brilliant project. By supporting CALM and spreading this important message, we hope more people will know they are not alone and that there are people who can support them at what can, for many people, be a tough time. CALM's free, and anonymous helpline and webchat is open every day across the festive period, from 5 pm-midnight. The funds raised from this single release will contribute towards the operation of CALM's life-saving services, which currently take in excess of 10,000 calls and web chats every month.’
Laura Kelly, Label Manager, London Records said: ‘Stay Another Day is a treasured classic from the London Records catalogue and we wanted to do something special to celebrate the 25 year anniversary this Christmas. With East 17 so famously from Walthamstow, it was serendipity that Waltham Forest is London Borough Of Culture this year and the team there have done a fantastic job alongside Waltham Forest Youth Choir, East London Brass, Tony Mortimer and Joe Duddell, creating this wonderful homage to the track. We are also delighted to be supporting CALM by donating 25% of proceeds to the charity.’
Renowned filmmaker Steve Glashier came on board to make the music video for the project which you can watch below:
The single is released today on London Records and can be downloaded here NOW!