Hooked: Behind the Song


Every song starts somewhere. Sometimes it’s a melody you can’t get out of your head. Sometimes it’s a phrase that just won’t let you go until you sit down and work it out. For my debut single, “I Keep Trying,” it was both. 

While practicing one afternoon, I clumsily tumbled down the bass line and into this super catchy walk-down. I pulled out my phone and recorded it so I wouldn’t forget. I listened to it in the car for weeks, and every time I’d hear it, it would make me smile. Time went by and I just didn’t have any words. It sounded like such a happy intro, but nothing was really happy in my day-to-day at the time. It wasn’t until I was leaving therapy one Monday afternoon that the lyrics first started to take shape. I was exhausted, mentally, and physically, and as I sat in the Nashville traffic, I just mumbled out, “Now I pay a stranger every week to keep me talking,” and that was how it all started. 

Behind the Song

2020 was a trying year for us all, but specifically, it was a time when I really came face to face with some voices I’ve fought my whole life. I have a pretty tough inner critic, and it loves to tell me I’m not good enough, that I’ll never amount to anything, and that I shouldn’t even try. In January of that year, I found myself without a job, then a storm blew through Nashville and destroyed the roof of our newly purchased first home. While the roofers were working on the house, we realized our main water line was broken and we needed to replace about 40% of our home’s plumbing. A week later our HVAC blew up, and a few weeks after that, my stepbrother died. While I was home for the funeral, my mother ended up in the hospital, and THEN the shutdowns started for COVID-19. It was hands down the most stressful time of my life. 

I remember feeling so depressed and scared that I could barely speak above a whisper. I lost 30 pounds, and just really felt like the ground had fallen from under me. But, through it all, I kept going. I woke up every day, I went to therapy every week. I did hard work and, eventually, with the help of my wife, my therapist, my family, and friends, I slowly started to feel like a person again. In retrospect, I’m able to look at the first part of 2020 and see how amazingly blessed I am. When my world was falling around me, the things that weren’t shaken were the things that truly mattered. My marriage, my family, my friendships… those pillars of my life were strong and steadfast. And they created a space for me to keep trying. 

single "I Keep Trying" on Spotify

Oh, I keep trying

I keep trying, that echoing line in the chorus of this song, is a rallying cry for walking in vulnerability and believing in ourselves. My hope is that in hearing this song if you find yourself in any kind of situation that makes you feel like giving up, you’ll feel empowered to keep trying. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It sure as hell doesn’t have to be perfect. But the ability to just keep going, keep showing up, keep telling that voice in your head to shut up as best you can… that’s what it’s all about. 

Wherever you find yourself today, I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you’ve dug deep every day you thought you couldn’t. I hope we all continue to keep trying.