Music helped eight-year-old Ollie, now his hit song will ease hardship for others

Ollie Bailey-O'Reilly jams with mum Jo.
Ollie Bailey-O'Reilly jams with mum Jo.  

At just eight-years-old Ollie Bailey-O'Reilly is already a star musician, but his journey to success has not been a smooth one. 

Ollie is the son of musician Chris Bailey, bassist for GANGgajang and The Angels, who died of throat cancer in 2013. Just two years after losing his precious dad, Ollie was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Music helped him on his recovery journey and now, in remission, he is drawing on his musical talents and kind heart to help others.

Ollie with his late dad Chris Bailey.
Ollie with his late dad Chris Bailey. Photo: Supplied

Ollie has banded together with some of Australia's most iconic musicians to record the single Stand By You to raise money for charity. The single was put together by EveryOneBand – the interactive charity arm of Support Act – and features the talents of more than 2,000 people who submitted contributions.

He not only plays ukulele on the single, alongside the likes of Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Megan Washington, Peter Garrett and many more, he also stars in the video. The experience was one Ollie loved.

"It was fun," he said.

"And I really like the song. So yeah, it was fun. And cool. I liked it."

He wants people to go out and buy the track to help raise money for Support Act. The charity is devoted to helping musicians and their families facing financial hardship.

"They help the people in the music world so when my Dad died and when I got sick they helped us," he said.

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"Do some stuff for others if you're well enough. It feels good and it might help people.

"Oh, and can you buy the single please. Don't just watch it, buy it, okay? 'Cause that's what makes it work."

If early indications are anything to go by, Ollie's hopes of raising money to help others in need will become a reality. Stand By You debuted at Number 1 on the Independent Record Label chart this week so Ollie already has a hit single.

Ollie has a love for music and there was a time he thought he might like to be a professional musician.

"I think at the benefit concert they did for my Dad," he said.

"The music was loud and I liked it."

But he has since changed his plan.

"At first I wanted to be a guitar player like Freddie Mercury," he said.

"But now I'm starting to maybe want to be an actor or a lighting designer."

His mum Jo O'Reilly said Support Act was there for them when her husband died and Ollie got sick.

"When Ollie got sick, it was really overwhelming," she said.

"They just rang us and said 'the music community wants to help, will you let them help you?'

"They took away all the pressure and organised financial help."

Jo said Ollie was so excited to play a big role in the video, as music has always been such an important part of his life.

"Ollie started jamming with Chris on the ukulele at the age of one-and-a-half – he's a pretty musical kid," Jo said.

"He's really into big rock'n'roll, like Queen and Guns 'N Roses. Music's just in him.

"He's a magnificent kid."

Music has also helped him heal, with some of his dad's friends regularly jamming with him.

"After Chris died some of the male musos have really stepped in and it's really helped," she said.

"Musos are really generous, good people.

"Music is really healing."

And for that reason, she hopes people rally behind Support Act and buy the single.

"Support Act is there for the people in the music industry who fall between the cracks and they pick them up," she said.

"We love the bands and we love the people. You've got to honour the people behind the stage, that's something that Chris was passionate about."

And Chris is never far from their minds.

"We're still in shock," she said.

"We miss Chris every day – we still can't believe he isn't here."

To get a copy of the single Stand By You, and make a donation to this worthy cause, go to http://everyoneband.com.