CREATING CLOUDS: Band members reflect on Zach Sobiech's song - KMSP-TV

CREATING CLOUDS: Band members reflect on Zach Sobiech's song

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STILLWATER, Minn. (KMSP) -

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the song "Clouds" being released. It was created by Zach Sobiech, the Stillwater teen who used music to tell his story and confront the end of his journey with cancer.

What started out as a gift to Sobiech to let him live out a dream of recording a song in a studio turned into a worldwide sensation, and the views on YouTube have topped 9 million.

"His presence in the video is so huge that the rest of us could have been anybody," Sean O'Hea recalled.

The song was Sobiech's vision, the band members say.

"It really is the essence of Zach, and if you spent time with him in a room, you could really tell he was something special," Dan Seeman said.

Seeman, of KS095 met Sobiech in the summer of 2012, and after hearing an acoustic version of the song, he wanted to give the teen, who had been told he had only month's to live, a chance to realize a dream of recording a song in a studio.

"Just thought it was a keepsake for Zach and his family," Matt Vannelli explained.

When Sobiech walked into the room on Nov. 6, the band and producers expected a sick kid with a sad story to tell -- but they got so much more.

"There was a lot of laughter in the in the room, and his spirit was amazing and so positive," John Lynn recalled.

With only lyrics and some music, the band created and recorded the full track in just 6 hours.

"There [were] just a couple of times in my life where I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and everyone in the room was exactly where they were supposed to be," Merritt Benton. "It was just really amazing to see it come together and affect the world."

Sobiech took it upon himself to make sure his story didn't have a sad ending, and the time he spent in the recording studio was happy as he created his song of hope.

"My whole attitude changed toward music -- and the importance of music and the power music had," Lynn said.

On Dec. 5, 2012, the YouTube version was released, and it exploded.

"It's not what I expected to happen at all," O'Hea admitted.

As the band watched the viewing numbers climb, they admitted it blew their minds -- especially when the song reached No. 1 on iTunes.

Yet, 7 months after Sobiech recorded the song, he lost his battle with cancer -- but not before he heard from his fans.

"Just the fact that he got to see all the positive effects and got to see an entire successful music career in the span of a few months is remarkable too," Vannelli said.

A year later, the band and the song's producers are back in the same studio.

"A year later, it still impacts my life on a daily basis," Karl Demer said.

They sang the song together for the first time without their frontman, and they want the legacy to continue on.

"It turned out to be a gift for me personally. It touched my life and everyone I know that's heard the song," Demer said. "As long as people will continue to listen to the song and continue to play the song, I think Zach and his spirit will keep living on."

Sobiech's positive legacy is still living on in other ways too. The money generated from the YouTube video and the song sales are going toward cancer research.

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