It’s fair to say Frazer Strickland and 17-year-old Jordan Kemp were not just friends, they were brothers. Like many others at Auckland Grammar, Frazer was devastated to hear his bro had passed away. In his memory, Frazer dedicates this song to Jordan. (Full Version).
Jordan Kemp collapsed on a rugby field in 2014 after colliding with a player. It was the second concussion he'd suffered that season and it would be the last time his rugby family would see him alive.
To honour his friend, 18-year-old Frazer, who is Niuean and Cook Island, wrote a heartfelt song called “Day One”, that tells the tale of a young man who won the hearts of many.
“He was one person that put other people before himself and that’s what everyone loved about Jordan. We think about him every day, all of the boys do," says Frazer.
The teenagers, who bonded as boarders at different hostels, shared a love of music.
“We were close, we got on really well, in music class especially. We both enjoyed making and listening to music. Jordan liked Bob Marley, that’s for sure.”
Frazer remembers his friend’s fun side, “Jordan would sometimes play his music pretty quiet in history class”, he smiles. “As the teacher kept talking, he’d turn it up louder and louder and everyone would be looking around. But when the teacher would turn around, he’d quickly turn it down. Everyone would giggle and giggle. It was the little witty jokes he would always do.”
Asked why he wrote the song for Jordan, Frazer simply says “It felt right, it was my gift to pass on the message.”
And that message is?
“What I want people to get is what kind of person he was. About how supportive he was of us since day one and we’d like to think we were there for him too. This song is a testimony to our friendship.”
Frazer sang his song at Jordan's unveiling last weekend.
Click on the link below to watch the Native Affairs' story on Jordan Kemp and the severity of concussion for Maori rugby players .