Story Behind the Song: Gabby Barrett, ‘I Hope’
After finishing her tenure as a contestant on American Idol, up-and-comer Gabby Barrett says she didn't initially see much interest from record labels. As a result, she doubled down on her songwriting, working hard to craft a sound that not only was true to her specific lyrical sensibilities but also spoke to a universal experience.
The result, "I Hope," is a searing breakup tune -- with a twist. Read on to learn the story behind the song, told in Barrett's own words.
It was two [songwriters who are] friends of mine, Zach Hale and Jon Nite, and they came into the room last year -- Halloween of last year. They had said to me, "Let's write a breakup song where the guy does the girl bad, but the girl still kinda wishes the guy well in the end, like, 'Yeah, no bother, nothing's wrong.'"
And I was like, "Yeah, no. That's not gonna work. That can't work, because I just don't recall that happening when we get done wrong." It's actually been really cool to see [male fans] get into the song, too. I actually had somebody send me a video on Instagram, and it was a guy in his truck singing [the song]. I was like, "Okay! Guys like it too!" So that's been amazing.
But that was kind of the inspiration of where it came from -- especially from past relationships that I had been in, and my family [members] had been in. Being one of eight [kids], unfortunately, I've seen a lot of bad stuff unroll. But just to write a song for people that have been in a bad relationship and never got to say what they truly felt towards that person.
[When we wrote it], we were all in the room just focusing on how we can make the song great. I think that's what everybody does when they get into writing sessions, especially with me, because I didn't have any labels jumping out at me after American Idol was over. So I was like, "Okay, I'm going to have to stick my nose to the ground and just really focus on writing. Hopefully we get a really good song out of it."
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