Mesa native singer/songwriter Cherie Call has teamed up with fellow musician Lyndy Butler to produce The Buddy System, a children’s album. “The Astronaut and the Mermaid,” a track from the album, recently cleared another level of the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest and is eligible for the $20,000 Song of the Year prize.
“I’m not sure a children’s song has ever won Song of the Year,” Call says. “I feel like we actually have a good chance!”
The John Lennon Songwriting Contest is an international competition that pits participants against each other in twelve categories, including the children’s category in which Call’s and Butler’s song is a contender. The duo’s Session II Grand Prize win meant $8000 in musical equipment and instruments. Now, with Session I and Session II winners going head-to-head, Call and Butler are holding their breath until the Song of the Year announcement.
“As far as plans go, I think if we won the prize, we’d use the money to make more music,” Call says. “Lyndy and I both have some fun ideas related to our album, The Buddy System, that we’d like to try. We also each have solo projects in the works.”
Certainly, she is no stranger to success in the music industry. Call, a two-time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville Newfolk Songwriting Competition, has performed with The Lower Lights, released nine full-length albums, and teaches songwriting at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.
A wife and mother of four, Call draws inspiration from her life. She has been writing since her teens, and acknowledges that while life has changed through the years, the core of her songwriting remains the same: “I feel like I’ve always done my best to write what I know.”
The delicate balancing act between career and family can be difficult for any artist, but Call finds strength in her family.
“I feel like having a family has redefined what success means to me . . . . I’m in a place where I feel like I know what I want, and it’s easier to say no to things that make my already packed life more stressful and less joyful,” she says. “But I also can say yes to things that bring a lot of joy.”
Call recognizes her family as part of that dream.
“When you live in a home where you’re not the only person who has a dream, there is a lot of give and take. But I love that my kids see a dream in action and can form goals and dreams of their own.”
Call and Butler will learn in September if the coveted prize is theirs. In the meantime, Call remains optimistic.
“I have a lot of joy in my life right now, and that’s what I call success,” she says.