Bullying led a Walnut Grove boy to recently commit suicide. Now, the horrors of that teen's story have prompted Langley's rising young singing star Cole Armour to write and sing a song.
"That gave me the inspiration to write my own song for him and for kids at my own school (Langley Fine Arts) who don't like who they are," said Cole, who created the inspirational number called You three weeks ago.
The 13-year-old Willoughby kid wants this semi-ballad to send a message to fellow teens to be happy with who they are and not to change themselves to blend in with what they think society wants or expects.
"Me going to school, there's always people who don't think they're good enough. I see it," Cole told the Langley Advance. "Don't think that way, because you're perfect in every way you can be."
It was the nationally acclaimed young multi-genre singer's first attempt at songwriting, but with thoughts about the incident running through his head, he played one chord on his piano, then another, then another.
Next thing he knew, lyrics started flowing, and it wasn't long before the song was finished.
"It was magic," he said, pleased with his first ever attempt at writing both the music and lyrics for a song.
It seemed most fitting to debut You this weekend, when Cole headlines at the new Walnut Grove Family Day on Saturday.
During his 30-minute set on the Walnut Grove Family Day stage, Cole will perform this song, as well as a tribute to the late pop icon Whitney Houston. He'll sing The Greatest Love of All. He's also expecting to mix in a variety of other pop, country, and even opera songs.
It's been a big year for Cole, who first discovered his passion for singing when he was eight. He first sang in public at a Walnut Grove Secondary fashion show that same year and has been blowing away audiences near and far ever since with his enviable vocal range and innocent yet compassionate demeanour.
While he continues to do countless charity and community events, like the Walnut Grove Family Day, he's also been interviewed and performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, performed the Canadian and American anthems at Vancouver Canucks games, and just last week performed before 550 delegates from around the world who converged in Ottawa for a communications conference.
Still on a high from the Ontario trip, Cole said it was cool to see the Parliament buildings and join his family on a whirlwind sightseeing tour of the nation's capital. But he got the biggest rush from performing.
"Singing to people from around the world could really jump start things," he said.
Cole also recently performed at the Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil Ball in Vancouver, as well as the Journey of Hope cancer fundraiser at Gabby's Country Cabaret in Langley, and made an appearance on Global BC's morning show.
While most high school students are invariably looking forward to summer break and all the freedoms that it offers to lounge and hang with friends, Cole is excited to finish up his Grade 8 classes this week.
He won't be kicking it back with his buddies, as much as he'll continuing to try his hand at songwriting while cranking it up with the band and travelling throughout the Pacific Northwest during the next two months.
He's already booked to perform at East 542 Music Festival in Deming, Wash. with Lonestar, Dr. Hook, and Sawyer Brown. He'll also be at Rockin' River in Mission, and the Port Moody Festival of Art this summer.
But the first gig on his summer agenda, thankfully, is the concert this weekend in his hometown of Langley
Cole will be on stage at Walnut Grove Family Day Saturday, June 23 from 12: 15 to 12: 45 p.m. On the sports field behind Walnut Grove Secondary School, the free festival will include a number of other aspiring young artists who were part of the 2012 Langley Has Talent competition.