I am not a health worker inundated with Omicron COVID19 cases and working in sometimes failing health systems. I’m not an expert on epidemiology. I am, however, an experienced observer of life who has lived in the one of the most locked down cities in the world. I have seen the impact multiple (6 in all) extended lockdowns have had on the mental well-being of so many, in particular, young people.

I have witnessed COVID babies struggling to release themselves into the social world and the loneliness of their mothers unable to receive adequate levels of support from community. I have also observed the mental health episodes, sense of hopelessness and frustration experienced by young men and women who have been so deeply affected by obstructions to, in particular, their social and economic growth.

Without doubt initially, the tactic to lock people down was, in most cases, a genuine attempt to save lives and prepare hospital systems for handling a pandemic. I suspect many vulnerable lives have been extended and some once healthy lives saved. History and data will tell us ultimately how successful lockdown tactics have been, however, it appears that over-time lockdowns became the ‘go-to’ measure of health administrators. Professionals unable to drive and implement the necessary changes into hospital systems often under funded and clearly ill prepared for a pandemic ( hopefully health care funding becomes a world priority). Lockdowns have also become the go-to tactic for leaders whose goal of achieving zero case numbers (apparently now impossible) is simply a face saving exercise. Whatever the politics, it’s now time to find other tactics that don’t retard the growth of our children. The pandemic is not over but it is slowly becoming more manageable.

To celebrate this notion of freedom and after some really challenging years I wrote the song ‘I Want to be Free’. Post the lockdowns, I met Eve Ward while she was busking at a fair in my hometown just south of Melbourne, Australia. It’s my interest, of course, to take unknown artists into the studio and sing one of my compositions. ‘Evie’ had this gorgeous natural strength to her voice that made it perfect for this Disney like song. She was such a pleasure to work with. Here it is.❤️🎶

Eve Ward sings ‘I Want to be Free’

The track is also out on iTunes, Spotify and all other major platforms.



FINALLY. My sincere thanks to health workers across the world for their tireless work throughout the pandemic. It’s been so greatly appreciated by so many. May governments and the public across the world adequately support the work you do.❤️🎶

Published by thestevebellprojects

‘My thrill is to take relatively unknown, very unique and talented singers and compose and arrange retro songs that they record.’ Born in Melbourne, Australia, Steve Bell was brought up on seventies and eighties pop, soul and funk. He was obsessed with Earth Wind and Fire, Bee Gees, Al Jarreau, Gino Vannelli, TOTO, George Benson and, the great, David Foster. He liked class music with rich melodies - a big feature of his own writing today. While at college he played drums in numerous bands, but in his own words ‘wasn’t much chop at that’. But he did have a knack for playing piano by ear and writing ‘kind of cool’ ballads and soul songs. In his twenties he had a part-time role (on top of his day job) as a pop music critic for a local arts magazine, where he interviewed acclaimed artists from across the world. His interviews were always deep and focused on learning more and more about great songwriting and performing. Then he took a break - for over 25 years, running his company and being a family ‘guy’. However, he yearned for creative endeavours and once locked down during the COVID crisis, he started writing songs again. His first song ‘Lonely View’ was written looking out across the local bay from his composing studio and recorded using the amazing vocals of Jennifer Davids. Thus he started the journey of identifying a talented singer every few months and penning them a song with rich 70s and 80s melodies and jazz pop inspired chord structures.

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