Jeff Winchester never expected to one day collaborate on an original song with an internationally renowned classical music artist.
Winchester, is a Terre Haute wedding planner at Simple to Elegant, an event planning company, and a musician specializing in percussion. He recently teamed up with British soprano Summer Watson from Los Angeles to collaborate on their new song, “Hero.”
The two met at a Zoom event hosted by leading wedding industry expert David Tutera. The event had a special artist who happened to be Watson, who performed his new song, “Break the Silence.”
Winchester took a liking to the song and Watson’s vocals, so he decided to record a drum cover of his song. Watson was surprised by the cover and told Winchester to reach out if he needed his help. He would soon accept this offer.
Winchester originally composed “Hero” as a way to express pent up emotions after suffering a tragic loss within his family.
After analyzing it and working on the phone with friends, he decided the song needed a singer.
He then reached out to Watson once more and the two got to work.
Watson carries a strong story of resilience after twice beating stage 4 breast cancer and surviving a fatal train crash that severely affected her singing career.
“Have a warrior mindset,” Watson said. “Every day is an opportunity to live your best life and seize the moment. This past year has been especially difficult for everyone. We are all heroes. Be present in the moment and be happy no matter what.
Now based in Los Angeles, Watson and his team could only communicate with Winchester by text, call and email.
They worked as closely as possible, separated by nearly 2,000 miles.
The process included “registering here in Indiana and sending the stalks [recordings] in Los Angeles,” Winchester said. “They take your cut, download your rods, put their cut in it, and send it back to Indiana. There were very few phone conversations, mostly emails and texts.
Despite the challenges of recording a song on the other side of the country, the track was a hit all over the world.
On Spotify, the song was listed as a “top trending” upon its release.
Winchester shares his story in the hope that everyone realizes they can pursue their dreams no matter what their circumstances.
“Life doesn’t care where you live. It doesn’t matter where you’re from,” Winchester said. “You can do whatever you want to do. We set ourselves limits. Every day, all the excuses are there in front of you, you just have to choose not to believe them. You have to put in the time; be it music, basketball, design work, makeup, anything.