Hit song came to Zoe on the night her godson had seizure

By Hayden Moore

A LEAVING Certificate student who wrote a song about her godson, who has profound physical and mental disabilities, has spoken of the night she witnessed him having a seizure that led to her penning the composition.

Zoe Clarke from St Mark’s in Clondalkin saw her debut single ‘No Matter Where You Are’ peak at Number Six in the Irish iTunes Charts, momentarily surpassing Lewis Capaldi and sitting just below Maroon 5 – but the song is no ordinary pop beat.

Zoe Clarke 19 and her godson Samuel 1 compressor

Zoe Clarke with her godson Samuel

Samuel (1) was born just over a year ago with a chromosomal problem that has left him with mental and physical disabilities, and was diagnosed with West syndrome, a type of severe epilepsy, a few months ago.

As Zoe explained, “they say that he won’t ever walk” and is unable to communicate or “sit up on his own”.

Samuel, from Leixlip, has a low life expectancy and is subject to round-the-clock care, with his godmother Zoe also learning how to work the machines that he requires.

“I remember her being up that night, she was after seeing him having a seizure,” recalled Zoe’s mother Angela of the night she penned the song.

“We were away at the time and she told us that she wrote a song, we thought it was great – tears in our eyes listening to it.

“But it made us wonder, Zoe must be up during the night thinking about him a lot because they would be very close.”

Indeed, Zoe had been up all night worrying about her godson Samuel, after she witnessed him having a particularly severe seizure this past summer.

“I saw him having a seizure, it was his first bad seizure at the time after he had been diagnosed with West Syndrome,” explained the teenager, who is currently studying for her Leaving Certificate in Collinstown Park Community College.

“I couldn’t sleep thinking that he was going to have another seizure, to be honest I still don’t really sleep.

“These lyrics were stuck in my head, so I got up and recorded them into voice memo and sent them to my aunty – his mam – and my mam as well.”

Zoe Clarke No Matter Where You Are cover art compressor

The record cover

The day after sending the voice memo with the lyrics, Zoe recorded the melody and later had it produced in Beardfire Music, who reached out to her during the summer after seeing a video of her busking.

From the moment ‘No Matter Where You Are’ was released on November 29, it immediately began to climb the charts – leading to an unforgettable moment where Zoe was receiving chart numbers as text messages to her phone while in class.

“I was shocked ’cause I was in school, just getting numbers sent to me. I was shouting out all these random numbers. I’m just very shocked the way people took to it, to be honest,” said Zoe.

Angela, Zoe’s mother, continued: “We were crying with happiness; it was very emotional because the best that we were really looking for was that someone might see it and work with her.

“Charts didn’t come into our heads and everyone was honestly just shocked when it entered the charts.”

A life-long musician, Zoe is planning to release an EP in the new year with her song ‘No Matter Where You Are’ available on all music platforms now.

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