Youth Radio Project interviews The Hirsch Brothers6 min read
Journey: Hello, I’m Journey here on Youth Radio at KEPW 97.3 FM, streaming online at KEPW.org.
[00:00:08] Ryder: Hi, my name is Ryder Hirsch.
[00:00:10] Colin: My name is Colin Hirsch.
[00:00:12] Ryder: I’m 12 years old.
[00:00:13] Colin: I’m nine years old.
[00:00:15] Ryder: We’re from Charlotte, North Carolina. This is our song, LGBTQIA++.
[00:00:19] Colin: LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh, LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh…
[00:00:39] Journey: So what inspired you to make that song that you guys made?
[00:00:41] Colin: Well, Ryder was walking around at school one day and this kind of came to him. He came home and shared it with me and we thought we might as well just record it.
[00:00:53] Ryder: Yeah. It’s very confusing and I, we talk about this in our family, a lot. And it’s hard to know, like if you’re being nice, if you’re doing the right pronouns.
[00:01:02] Scott Hirsch (Colin and Ryder’s father): ‘Cause the conversation that we always have as a family is like, it’s gotten to the point where everything you say is offensive and you don’t even know anymore.
[00:01:09] Colin: Also, a lot of people at Ryder’s school have been changing gender. So we thought it’s around us a lot more than it was.
[00:01:19] Ryder: Basically, there was this kid who was calling a non-binary person ‘she’ just to annoy them. And then she got suspended for that. And it was pretty crazy. So I just wrote a song about my feelings about that and it was interesting ‘cause the tune just sort of came to me in my head. I was able to remember it. And then me and Colin went home and like we were singing it. I feel like it was sort of crazy that I was able to come up with like this cohesive tune, ‘cause I don’t really know how to write music.
[00:01:46] Colin: No.
[00:01:47] Ryder: And I just thought it was so weird that me and Colin—
[00:01:49] Colin: We were just able to think together.
[00:01:51] Journey: That’s how true music writers write their songs. They don’t just do it off of like some incident that happened to someone else. They write it off of an incident that happened to the person who’s writing the song.
[00:02:01] Scott Hirsch: Their grandparents and everyone who heard it, asked them, ‘Oh, are you going to play it at school?’ And you guys decided not to share it at school.
[00:02:07] Ryder: The controversy with the LGBTQIA++ thing in our school, it just would not work out. And I would become already less popular than I already am. So we made the decision that this is definitely not going to be played at school.
[00:02:22] Colin: Yes. But it is out there for the world to hear.
[00:02:25] Ryder: Yeah. We put it on TikTok.
[00:02:27] Colin: Yeah. He made a lyric video.
[00:02:29] Scott Hirsch: What’s hard about this topic, Colin?
[00:02:31] Colin: We live in a world where this is acceptable, but sometimes it can be hard for people to talk about this. And also the people who are trying to like say the pronouns and people who are trying, like—One of the lyrics is ‘It’s so confusing and I’m trying hard not to be a hater.’ And it’s basically this song is about someone who wants to get these pronouns right. He wants to, but it’s hard.
[00:02:59] Emily (Colin and Ryder’s mother): Yeah.
[00:02:59] Ryder: Yes. And it’s also uncomfortable like, ‘Oh, am I going to say the right thing? Are they okay with that?’ And sometimes, like you don’t want to ask somebody what their pronouns are cause you’re really uncomfortable about that. But then like, sometimes you get in a situation where you need to refer to somebody and then you just don’t know what to say.
[00:03:14] Journey: Did any parents help with the lyrics, like a sentence or two in a song?
[00:03:18] Ryder: No. None of the vocals. It was 100% original.
[00:03:22] Emily: Yeah, we didn’t help with the lyrics. The part where he says, ‘Are you a they/them?’ We thought that that could be offensive to some people. But since it was their song, we just let them go with it, because we know their intention was never to offend.
[00:03:41] Ryder: Yes. And now considering after the fact of the song, I think, moving forward, I might revise it slightly, just cutting out some of the parts towards the end that I don’t think are really necessary.
[00:03:52] Colin: Ryder wasn’t exactly satisfied with the ending of the song.
[00:03:56] Ryder: I have like two bridge sections I don’t really think are necessary and that’s my main problem with the song. I added a lot of sections that don’t really need to be there.
[00:04:04] Scott Hirsch: You should tell them what you’re working on.
[00:04:06] Emily: They’re working on other songs, but they’re not released yet.
[00:04:08] Ryder: But we’re not ready to disclose yet.
[00:04:11] Colin: Yes, but we definitely are, every day, constantly—You bang on that piano every now and then.
[00:04:18] Ryder: It’s sort of weird ‘cause I feel like it’s really hard to come up with a tune usually.
[00:04:21] Colin: Yeah, that’s like catchy.
[00:04:23] Ryder: Yeah. But somehow, every once in a while, I’ll just have the inspiration and I don’t know anything about how to write music. (No.) I’ve tried to figure it out. It’s very complicated. But every once in a while come up with a tune. I’m like, wait, how do, how was I able to remember this? It’s like sort of crazy.
[00:04:40] Colin: Also, we listen to a lot of music daily.
[00:04:43] Ryder: Yeah. We listen to so much music.
[00:04:45] Colin: So much music. Our life is basically, every single day, you get in the car, you turn on the radio.
[00:04:51] Ryder: We listen to a lot of ‘80s, ‘70s rock and pop. I really like Billy Joel. I really like Elton John.
[00:05:01] Colin: My three favorites are, U2 I love, R.E.M.. and Billy Joel.
[00:05:05] Emily: Do you guys want to do a live performance?
[00:05:07] Colin and Ryder: I’m trying hard not to be a hater. I’m working towards being a straight ally. But your acronyms are so confusing. Somebody please tell me why.
[00:05:26] It goes like LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh, LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh.
[00:05:43] Everything I say is so offensive. I really don’t understand why. I’m trying to be kind to all people, even though I am an ordinary guy. LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh, LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh.
Are you a they/them? Are you a he/she? I can call you anything that you need. I may not understand though I love this. In fact, I may be a bit confused by it.
[00:06:36] But going forward is better than going backwards. You just can’t deny it. LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh, LGBTQIA++, oh oh oh oh oh.
[00:07:00] It’s so easy not to be a hater. To be a hater. It’s even easier to be a straight ally. In fact, it’s so easy. I encourage you to try…to be nice.
[00:07:19] All: (Applause). That was awesome. Good job guys.
[00:07:22] Scott Hirsch: I think I like the live version the best. I loved it.
[00:07:26] Journey: I love this song. This has been Journey on Youth Radio at KEPW 97.3 FM, streaming online at KEPW.org.