'Joy in our lives again': Parents of Louis Watkiss, 12, who died at SnowDome release charity single

ITV News Central's Lucy Kapasi reports.

The parents of a 12-year-old boy who died at an indoor ski slope have released a charity single in his memory.

Louis Watkiss from Sutton Coldfield suffered fatal injuries in a collision involving a staff member at the SnowDome in Tamworth on Friday September 24, 2021.

Now his parents Chris and Natalie Watkiss have created a piece of music, called 'Louis' Teenage Spirit', in collaboration with jazz artists, MCs and DJs.

Louis' parents Chris and Natalie created the single in collaboration with local artists. Credit: ITV News Central

Louis was a grade 5 saxophonist and his family want to celebrate his talent and personality through the record as well as reflecting on his passing.

They also want to support other musicians to reach their potential by splitting the proceeds from the single between three music charities.

They are Services for Education, B:Music Jazz and their own - the newly created LJW Music Fusion, which will match young gifted musicians with mentors to help them write and record their own work.

They also hope to give other youngsters experience of everything involved in the process of making a record including music production and graphic design.

Chris says he wanted the record "to be in three parts - the first to replicate Louis's almost 13 years with us, joyous, upbeat, quite a funky passage of music.

"I wanted the middle section to slow down quite a bit and have a poignant saxophone solo.

"And then the third part would pick up speed again and have some lyrics added to it that Natalie and I provided to Sanity, which is a local Birmingham MC and she brilliantly weaved these words of Louis's attributes into the third part of the song."

Natalie added: "It's been a year-long passion project which enabled us as a family to focus on something so incredible and helped us find a small piece of joy in our lives again."

On the day Louis died he was wearing his favourite T shirt which featured a famous jazz album. Natalie styled the artwork on Louis's record cover in the same style.

His brother, seven-year-old George also appears on the cover along with a drawing he did of an alligator.

'Louis' Teenage Spirit' was launched at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, which Louis often visited as a keen sportsman. Credit: ITV News Central

The record has now been pressed on vinyl and in addition to Sanity (formerly Lady Sanity) on vocals, other big hitters involved include saxophonists Camilla George and Xhosa Cole from Handsworth who tutored Louis.

Graduates of the Jazzlines Summer School, which Louis was a part of, are also featured on the single.

Trumpeter Gabs Amann said: "This was a real opportunity to pay tribute to him in a really unique and special way. When you make a piece of music it stays there forever and I think that's what the family were really trying to achieve."

Louis Hamilton-Foad on drums said: "I went out to get a record player so I could listen to it again and again because I thought it was really great."

Bassist Dougie Hill added: "Anytime you play it's fun, but there's an extra level of meaning and importance when you're playing a tune like this."

Band members from the summer school that Louis attended are featured on the record. Credit: ITV News Central

The B side of the record has been reworked by Birmingham DJ Echo Juliet and features a more electronic sound.

She said: "My hope was that the B side would reach a different audience, maybe people who might be into electronic music, maybe younger people as well.

"Hopefully it will expand the reach of the whole project."

Chris and Natalie are still waiting to find out when the criminal investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into their Louis' death will be completed.

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