A DARK cloud will hang over the memory of the past seven months for Grafton hip hop artist Malachi Corcoran, but with the help of friend Lisa Butcher he has turned tragedy and hard times into art.
Mr Corcoran narrowly avoided prison in October and a month later his daughter Marlee Rose died from sudden infant death syndrome.
These were not the first hard times he faced. His mother died from a stroke when he was 11 and his sister committed suicide when he was 13.
Depression and the need to escape reality led him to drugs and alcohol, but after facing court in October he pledged to himself this time would be different.
He quit smoking pot and gave up drinking and studied sound engineering. He dedi- cated time to looking after his daughter, who was a healthy 10-month-old at the time.
"I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter and really focus on being a good dad and I'm happy it happened that way," he said.
During this time he recorded some of his daughter's first words by holding her up to a microphone and waiting for Marlee to say "dada".
"I originally wrote the song for Marlee to listen to when she was older to let her know how much her dad and mum love her."
Everything changed back on November 8, just one month later, when Mr Corcoran found his daughter had died in her sleep.
"After Marlee died the song suddenly meant so much more to me," he said.
"I couldn't listen to it for months after because I would break down in tears, but then as time went on I brought myself to mix it," he said.
With Ms Butcher singing the chorus, Mr Corcoran crafted the song into a tribute to his daughter.
The track, Marlee Rose , was uploaded to Triple J Unearthed in early May and is now sitting at number two in the Hip Hop charts.
It will be the lead single on his new album I Need Change, which will be launched at the Plantation Hotel in Coffs Harbour on June 30.
Door charges and album sales from the June 30 launch will be donated to research into sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Mr Corcoran will also be playing at the Crankfest Festival in Evans Head on April 27.
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