Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones on how his child’s cancer inspired ‘celebratory’ song

Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones has revealed his song Forever was originally written about the “serious and scary” period where his first child was being treated for cancer.

The track features on the Welsh rock band’s new album Oochya! but emerged when his son Colby, who now attends the prestigious Brit School in south London, was around 18 months old.

Jones rediscovered the unused track while working on new Stereophonics material during lockdown and felt the sentiment would resonate with listeners today.

The Global Awards 2020 with – Press Room – London
Stereophonics bandmembers Adam Zindani, Richard Jones, Kelly Jones and Jamie Morrison (Lia Toby/PA)

On the melodic down-tempo song, he sings about wishing he could “fly away forever” and “take your pain for you and release you”.

He told the PA news agency: “Forever was written quite a long time ago lyrically and at the time it was about being faced with something that was quite serious and scary in my life.

“Not knowing how I was going to deal with it and trying to protect the person who was going through it.

“It became like wanting to escape, but you can’t escape because you have to face whatever is going on.

“So it’s about freedom and it’s about escapism, but it’s also about, I guess, you have to keep on keeping on through it, throughout whatever the tough times are.”

Jones has two children with his former partner, Rebecca Walters, and two with his wife, MTV journalist, Jakki Healy. Colby, his eldest, is transgender.

He added: “That song was about where my youngest – my first kid at the time – was going through cancer when they were like 18 months, 19 months old.

“It was relevant then but I never released the song.

“But then as life goes on you have other challenges in your life and I just thought the lyric was quite… It wasn’t ambiguous but it was open for interpretation.

“I hadn’t forgotten about it. I had the song there, but it fitted the feeling of the record.

“Because I think as much as the song was about something very, very personal, the sentiment of how the song makes you feel is quite celebratory.

“It’s a kind of strange juxtaposition really.”

Oochya! by Stereophonics is out now.