I am working on my next recording right now, which I plan to release in Jan. 2020. It's a song written to remember a young student at the middle school I taught, Ahlyja Pinson, who was murdered by a gang member in 2007 over Christmas break. I still remember the look on the counselor's face when she came into my room that first day back at school after break to tell us. Although I did not have her as one of my students, it hit close to home for me. I had been a 14 year old out on the streets of Maryvale (a suburb in Phoenix which at the time that was one of most dangerous areas in the country) hanging out with people who were dangerous. It could have easily been my story. My ending. I was blown away at how easy some of the teachers could point the finger at her. Hadn't things changed since 1985 I thought? I overheard a few of her teachers guard their shock and grief by commenting how she had changed that year. She started wearing dark eyeliner and hanging out with older guys. I heard teachers talk about me that way, too, even the dean at my middle school. "Oh she used to be such a nice girl. Now she looks like such a slut" I felt such a sadness for her and her friends and family. I felt a deep sadness for all of us girls who have been in this Big Bad World at times, caught between being a girl and being a woman. So I wrote her this song on the way to work the next day. Her murdered was found guilty and convicted of her murder in 2012. Some of us young girls in the hood were lucky enough to make it out and not get burnt to a crisp. But she is one of our lost girls to this Big Bad World.
Take a listen to the live version with Aja Lee singing a piece with me.
Big Bad World written by Christy Bruneau