By Alexa MacKie
Sally Park celebrated her older sister’s 18 birthday in the best way she could – through music.
On September 14, the Ottawa-based, 16-year-old singer and songwriter, known professionally as Sally Eunbine, released her first official single “Hailey – Radio Edit” on streaming platforms. The song is a tribute to her older sister Hailey.
Sally worked on the song for just over a year. Though she did not intend to write a song specifically about her sister, the songwriting process took her there naturally.
“I was just kind of joking around and started singing, ‘Hailey when I’m feeling sorrow, you’re the one that I need the most in my life’,” said Sally, singing a line from the song. “I started to unconsciously write the lyrics, then came the instrumentals and production.”
Sally explained that Hailey is “very special” to her, and the two are very close.
“She’s always been there for me since I was very little,” said Sally. “Hailey is the one that comforted me and wanted me to become a better person every day and night. She always used to hug me, hold my hand and make me happy.”
Hailey, who just started her first year at the University of British Columbia, explained how her feelings towards the song changed over time.
“At first, I was really confused,” she said with a laugh. “I didn’t like it, I felt like she was just teasing me.”
She didn’t take her sister’s tribute seriously until Sally paid money to publish the song and started posting snippets on social media. “I’m excited about it now,” said Hailey.
Music plays an important part in the sisters’ relationship.
“During COVID and after the pandemic, we mainly bonded playing instruments, jamming, and having performances,” said Hailey, who plays the keyboard and bass guitar. “Sally’s main interest is music.”
Despite her youth, Sally already knows she wants to continue making music.
“This is my dream that I want to pursue, and now here I am,” she said. She is the principal percussionist in the Ottawa Concert Youth Orchestra and plays in the Jazz Band and the Senior Concert Band at Glebe Collegiate Institute.
Sally also plays guitar and sings for The Collective, an Ottawa-based band that started playing together in August.
“Sally is an extremely talented musician. She’s very dedicated to learning her instruments and writing music,” said Simon van Wesenbeeck, who plays saxophone and keyboard in The Collective. “I hope that Sally continues to keep writing and playing music, touching on all genres that she can.”
Sally plans to continue performing with The Collective, as well as release more solo music by the beginning of next year.
Alexa MacKie, a Glebe Collegiate alumna, is a journalism and law student at Carleton University.