By Zach Collier
Last week, Provo singer/songwriter Emily Bea released the music video for her latest single, “Crash.” A somber duet, it features Bea’s signature brassy voice and the smooth soul of Yahosh Bonner.
The video, directed by Alex Lowry, opens with a married couple having a heated argument about their future. A frustrated husband leaves the house to take a drive and cool off. After texting his wife an apology from the driver’s seat, he strikes a moving vehicle and dies.
While this may sound overly dramatic, this is the type of thing that happens in Utah all the time. We are only 4 months into the year, and already more than 50 people have died on Utah roads. 256 people died from car accidents in 2014 – one of the deadliest years in recent memory – and Utah fatalities are quickly approaching that number in 2016.
According to the National Safety Council, “There is no safe way to use a cell phone while driving – even hands free. Distracted driving takes many forms, but cell phone use is at the top. Research shows the brain remains distracted for 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands. Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone, but often you don’t realize that distracted driver is you.”
With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Robert J. DeBry and Fusion 360 reached out to the PR firms at several universities in Utah, and challenged them to raise awareness about distracted driving and to help support Utah’s goal of zero fatalities. A few months ago, UVU student RJ Rouse approached Bea to see if she would be willing to participate.
“Before I wrote the song, RJ explained the project and we came up with the general idea of where we wanted to go with the song,” Bea told Reach Provo. “We wanted it to be an intense, emotional song. We wanted to create a song that had a “Grey’s Anatomy” dramatic feel, but most importantly a song that would emotionally move and leave an impact on the listeners.”
Bea wrote the song with the intent to touch hearts. “When it came to writing the song I wanted it to be very real and honest. I wanted it to go to a very personal place, and create a realistic storyline that the audience and listeners could really connect with. With this being such a heavy and emotional topic, I wanted to be sure that everything I wrote, music and lyrics, pointed to and brought that emotion.” She wrote the lyrics in a narrative style to fit specifically with the music video.
When they started looking for a male vocalist, Rouse suggested Yahosh Bonner. “It wasn’t until I went to the studio to record the song that I met Yahosh,” Bea says with a laugh. “Yahosh was so fun to work with! He has the most upbeat, fun personality, and is a talented vocalist. He has such a powerful voice and unique style that played a really strong role in his verse.” The team worked with Provo producer Chance Clift (Abby Normal, House of Lewis) on the track.
Bea is grateful for her time spent on the project. “We hear all the stories of accidents and injuries caused by distracted driving and it’s become a serious problem. Being involved in this project helped give me a better perspective and understanding of how serious of a problem it is and gave me a greater desire to help spread awareness. We all have a voice and we all have the responsibility to speak up.”