'The Big Inspiration': Father Uses Music to Sing About Daughter's Health Battles


Musician Jesse Norell is using music as an outlet to talk about his daughter’s medical struggles.

“Alyssa was the big inspiration for the record,” Jesse Norell told “Good Morning America” about his album titled “Aorta Borealis.”

According to “Good Morning America,” at only five months old, Alyssa had her first heart surgery.

“We found out on the day she was born that she had down syndrome, that she had a heart defect,” Jesse shared.

Continuing, Jesse explained the meaning of his album title, “Aorta Borealis,” which he said “makes a reference to the heart and it makes a reference to the Northern Lights.”

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“The heart stuff is a prominent on the record because she’s surviving heart surgeries and then Borealis makes a reference to the Northern Lights and the Northern Lights are something you can only see when it’s dark,” he said.

Jesse goes on to share that he felt like he had to talk about “the darker parts” of their story “because that makes the end of the record where we’re talking about family and the joy of staying together and having each other.”

Speaking of the album, he said, “It makes it that much brighter.”

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According to “Good Morning America,” in the beginning, Jesse had a hard time processing his daughter’s health issues.

“My son’s birthday was so joyous. I had all these feelings of like this intense love. And I expected time number two to just be all joy like the first time was,” he said.

However, Jesse admits that he “was filled with all of these mixed feelings.”

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This inspired his first song on the album titled, “What to tell you,” which he says he “didn’t sugarcoat any of it.”

“I wanted to put out all the feelings that I had on that day and part of that is trying to let other parents know in the same situation that it’s okay to have all these big feelings,” he said.

Speaking of what he believes his daughters reaction will be to the album, Jesse said, “For Alyssa, I think when she’s older and she hears that, I think she’s going to understand the love and the joy on the second half of the record.

“Our family story had some rough stuff in it and we came through and that’s worth celebrating,” he concluded.

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