Waterloo-based musician JP Sunga released a new single in November that was accompanied by a creative music video exploring the themes of renewal and self-forgiveness.
The song entitled ‘Dirty Water’ was inspired by his late grandmother-in-law. She lived in India as a single mother with eight children who faced challenges that went well beyond that situation: she was told she had leprosy, which at the time was incurable. She met a stranger who saw her pain and, so the story goes, he advised her to simply “let the dirty water flow,” after a couple weeks went by, she was cured of that disease.
“It’s a very mysterious story. But those words ‘let the dirty water flow’ really kind of stuck with me. She was the type of woman where she just exuded a love of life, she was just so joyous. There was nothing in her actions and the way she conducted herself that would have let you know anything about her challenges and everything that she’d gone through – growing up poor as a single mother in India – that’s what she chose to give out to the world,” said Sunga, explaining the meaning behind the song.
“Oftentimes, we talk about forgiveness of others; no one really talks about forgiveness of self. Sometimes it’s important to allow yourself that chance for a new outlook, for a new path. So that’s why the song, one of the main themes, is about renewal and it’s about that sort of cleansing and that ability to be able to move forward with a clean slate, with a new outlook.”
The music video was filmed on Manitoulin Island with beautifully landscaped backdrops such as a waterfall and cliff. The music video was a family affair as his wife helped with production and his son, Jaryn Sunga, played a role in the ‘Dirty Water’ music video as a younger version of JP.
“Music is such a huge part of me that it became clear that if I didn’t do this and something were to happen to me, my kids would not really know me – this is a huge part of who I am. So, this is what I’m doing now with all these singles that I’m releasing in this album that I’m working towards, it’s a legacy piece,” said Sunga, inspired to write music that represents where he is now as an artist, coming out of the pandemic.
“It was initially slated for 2020 and then COVID. So my producer and I haven’t been able to meet in person, everything we’ve been doing ever since March 2020 has been virtually; it’s been really slow and really challenging and difficult to really get some stuff done. But now things are starting to ease up where I think we’re going to change gears and really push forward with the remainder of the songs that are left to be done.”
Sunga has been writing and creating music for more than 20 years, taking a break to raise his children, now feeling inspired to create, he’s ready to step back into the scene. He’s also a long-time judge on Wellesley Idol, an annual singing competition at the Wellesley Fall Fair and Wellesley ABC Festival, which was cancelled this year due to COVID.
His new song, ‘Dirty Water,’ can be streamed on Sunga’s YouTube channel. The upcoming album from JP Sunga is slated for next year, with an exact date still to be announced.