Melissa D’Souza is a local artist who wrote the song Rise Up Calgary.
Tell me a little bit about the song Rise Up Calgary and what the lyrics mean to you?
Rise Up Calgary is a song about waking up consciously. You realize that you have inner truth and inner strength and you don’t have to accept things as they are. Once we awaken to this truth we realize we can choose our destiny, therefore we can create change in our lives. That’s what rising up means to me. It’s about finding your power, following your passion and engaging others to make the world a better place.
What inspired you to write this song?
Well, hearing the statistic that only 33 per cent of Calgarians voted in the previous election and less before that was pretty staggering. It didn’t make sense that Calgarians who had so much pride in their city didn’t feel engaged enough to vote in their own election. Calgary needed to be reminded that they have an opportunity to create change and hold the power to do so. Everyone has great ideas, but no one can hear you if you don’t raise your voice. I wrote Rise Up to wake people up and re-engage people.
Seeing how the election played out, do you think Calgarians rose up and became engaged?
Wow, how many ways can I say yes? I am so proud of our city and the results of our election. Calgary didn’t just want a change this time, they voted for change. That is the most inspiring part of this year’s election. I think Calgary is revitalized with the knowledge that real change was possible. It created headlines all over this country. My hope is that our city remains engaged throughout our council’s term. Our work isn’t over; it’s just the beginning.
You recently performed at city hall during the swearing-in ceremony. Tell me about that performance.
Standing on the steps of city hall, singing my heart out with our new mayor, city council and city community watching was truly incredible. I have to sa,y I wasn’t so much nervous as I was focused on making sure the performance touched everyone in the audience. I just can’t thank Mayor Nenshi enough for his support.