The Voice's Jilly Riley to release single reflecting on family suicide pain

A musician who has struggled for decades with the pain of a family suicide is due to release a single in aid of the Samaritans.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:44 am

Jilly Riley says she is only beginning to come to terms with the death of her dad when she was just four-years-old.

Now 39, the singer songwriter has recorded a cover version of the classic Over the Rainbow, due for release on Friday, May 21.

The money will go towards the Samaritans, who often provide life-saving support to those pushed to the brink.

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Jilly and Rachel are working together on the single.

The single mum from South Elmsall, who appeared on BBC1's The Voice in 2018, said: "The loss of a loved one is always a harrowing experience, but a loss due to suicide is devastating in a way I can't put into words.

"A trail of questions, often without answers, ultimately leads to no real closure, a very difficult thing to grieve.

"For me, as a little girl, this was the beginning of a life of mental and emotional struggle, that I am only beginning to understand as I leave my 30s.

"It was such a massive loss, and I did not realise how much I suppressed it until very recently.

The artwork by Rachel List.

"Music has been my medicine really, I have been writing songs since I was six, it's in the blood. My dad was a singer with a band as well."

Jilly's 17-year-old daughter, Melody, sang backing vocals on the single while Wakefield artist, Matt Knee, played the guitar and piano, and helped co-produce the new single.

Meanwhile, Pontefract mural artist Rachel List - who shot to fame last year for her lockdown-inspired wall paintings in the town - has designed the sleeve artwork.

The artwork will be exhibited alongside pieces from some of the world's leading modern artists, including Banksy, next Saturday, May 22, at Moyse's Hall Museum in Suffolk.

It will then be put up for auction, with the proceeds of its sale also going towards the Samaritans.

The single is available to download from Friday, May 21, although it can be bought from Jilly's website www.jillyriley.com from tomorrow, Thursday, May 20.