In search of a country performer to add to their roster of artists, the group reached out to Cardarelli, who had previously worked with SMD’s Kenny Lewis on her first album, 2010’s “Little Big Sky.”
Cardarelli quickly accepted, and was given a choice of songs to sing. She selected the song “Complicated” written by Chantel Hampton, who is now an instructor at the Berklee School of Music.
“They pitched the song to me and I loved it,” said Cardarelli, who was recently named to the dean‘s list at Belmont University. “It was kind of pop with a country twang. I felt like the kids would love it because it is a very fun song to sing. Chantel coached me through the recording.”
The song was recorded in the summer of 2012 at Lewis’ “Mixed Emotions” studio in Middleton. But Cardarelli still faced the challenge of selecting a cause for her song. Other organizations supported by artists from SMD include NBA star Ray Allen’s “Ray of Hope” and the “Pearl Alliance,” which is fighting to stop human trafficking.
For Cardarelli, the Boys & Girls Club immediately came to mind.
“That summer I had worked with a lot of the kids at their camp (Camp Tasker) on writing their camp songs,” said Cardarelli. “Plus, my grandfather was also a very active member of the Boys & Girls Club, and I love kids. I took a tour and knew it was the right decision.”
Looking to extend the reach of “Complicated,” Cardarelli and her family began to consider a music video to support the song.
But, instead of a video starring the singer, a new idea came to mind. The video would instead feature the same people that the song benefits, the children of the Haverhill Boys & Girls Club.
“The Cardarellis approached me with the idea of making a music video for Jillian,” said Card, the club activities director. “We had worked with Jillian in the past at camp. They asked if the teens would like to make the video their own.