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Jimmy Charles Offers Ray of Hope Amid Addiction in "Hard Way to Go"

"The key is to keep getting up, moving forward and never to give up," he says.

A cinematic story of addiction and struggle, "Hard Way to Go" gives Jimmy Charles a powerful story to tell, as he sings about one man's battle between the Bible and the bottle.

The Ocean City, Maryland, native may be familiar to American Idol viewers, after he earned a ticket to Hollywood in 2010. Since that time, he's released singles like "We Are Warriors," "Superman," and "Never Had a Bad Day." The poignant video for "Hard Way to Go" was shot at a farm in Bon Aqua, Tennessee, that once belonged to Johnny Cash.

Take a look, then read our interview with Jimmy Charles below the player.

What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?

The sun! The sunlight was just perfect on both days of the shoot; it was as if the Lord was there with us providing us perfect “light” and weather as his blessing. The sun in this video plays such an important role and is an important part of setting the mood of the storyline and truly represents a ray of hope.

How does the video bring your song to life?

The “Hard Way To Go” lyrics, musical composition and production are powerful. The imagery and storyline in the video bring the emotion of the storyline and subject matter to life. Addiction is real and the video really brings that to the forefront; I play out a part from my childhood in the opening scene; actor/producer Kyle Smithson, who is a recovering addict, plays the lead role.

What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?

We hope to convey a message to those who are suffering or battling with addiction that they are not alone. Yes, it’s a “Hard Way To Go,” and not an easy road; and it’s okay if a step forward is sometimes met with a fall back. The key is to keep getting up, moving forward and never to give up.

The lead character in the video (a real-life recovering addict) struggles with addiction, works to overcome it and turn his life, and family life, back around. The video is an example, and hopeful message, that we can overcome what we may not otherwise think is possible -- especially with the help and support of others who’ve been there. Our hope is that this video will inspire change and save lives, and we’re here to help.

How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?

I became very emotional, moved and proud when I saw the finished product; I get chills every time I see it. I believe the “Hard Way To Go” music video has such great potential to touch people, just the way it touched me, all while providing hope to those who suffer.


Songwriters: Kris Bergsnes and Melissa Peirce; Director: Kyle Saylors, Saylors Brothers Productions

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