Story Behind the Song: Kalie Shorr, ‘Awake’
Kalie Shorr's "Awake" has lived an unconventional life: The song began as the title track of her 2018 EP, and was released as a country single, but Shorr also re-imagined the song as a pop duet with vocalist and American Idol contestant Jonny Brenns after a writing stint in LA. To learn more about why Shorr decided to record a pop version of the song -- and why it was important to her to make that new rendition into a duet -- read on.
From the beginning, I wanted to do something different with the song, because I feel like it's almost genreless, a little bit. I feel like you could put that song on a bunch of different mix CDs ... and I sound old. Playlists! The point is, it could fit in next to a bunch of other stuff. So I had it in my head to re-imagine it, and maybe do a punk-ish version, or maybe a rock or pop version, or something.
I had been writing out in LA a lot, and working on some pop stuff; I've got some cuts with pop artists coming out. And it's very freeing to write like that, because you can kind of think outside of the box. And I feel like when I'm in LA, people are excited to write with me, because I love the lyric. That's such a big thing in country, but it's rare in pop, so people get excited about it.
The song is about -- it's a common thing for a song to be about -- my ex-boyfriend calling me in the middle of the night, but it's a little bit more complicated than that, because it's not a booty call. It's about this ex of mine who would call me wanting to unload all his issues. When he was going through something really tough, I was the person that he called -- not his mom, not his girlfriend, not his best friend. His high school ex-girlfriend.
I always wind up in situations like that, because I love people and I wanna be there for people, but it's been important for me to learn to set boundaries and be like, "I can't do this for you because it'll be bad for me." But it's a little complicated because it's not like the guy's this a--hole who's calling me up at 2AM, like, "Come over."
So getting to introduce the guy's perspective [by making the pop version into a duet], letting him kind of explain himself a little bit more -- I think that situation kind of deserved that.
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