The Making of Horizon
Updated: Mar 16, 2019
So I haven't been posting as much as I wanted to leading up to this song coming out. My plan was to release all of my story up till now each day, but life is just too crazy and busy! So here we are skipping ahead because I am too excited to tell you the meaning behind this song and how I got here. I'll go back to telling everything leading up to this in order after this post. Just skip ahead with me :)
I was headed home to Illinois for some reason, it might have been for Halloween, or my Mom’s birthday, I can’t remember now. But I took the earliest flight out of Nashville to make sure I’d get on a flight, and I got to see the most beautiful sunrise slowly light up the world, and that is where this song begins.
To give some background information, I am an airline kid. My Dad has worked for the airline my entire life, and I’ve been flying standby since I was very very little. It's been a regular part of my life for as long as I can remember. (Standby meant our family could fly for free on employee passes but only if there were empty seats on the plane.) Coming from this background, I have very different views about air travel, meaning that I don’t think it’s absolute hell like most people do, and that is kind of the theme the song started with.
I was looking out the window at this gorgeous sunset, really just in awe of how magical it was, and then I noticed that not a single person on that flight was doing the same. It made me sad. I started thinking of this concept, and how it applied to the magic of air travel in general. It truly is magical that we’ve created these machines that allow us to sore through the sky like birds, go literally anywhere in the world in a matter of hours, and yet, we’ve somehow managed to convince ourselves it’s a miserable experience. Then, being the deep artistic person that I am, I started thinking about how we often do this with life too.
Life is an incredible miracle that we chanced into experiencing, but like a plane ride, it can easily be taken for granted by those that choose to focus on the negative and ignore the beauty.
So, looking at the sunrise from this plane, I wrote a little poem about it. When I met with Mike Anderson, the producer I met at the barbecue the day I lost my job at the ice-cream shop (I’ll fill you in on that story later) he immediately took interest in it over some other things I’d presented, which was honestly surprising to me, because I definitely thought some of my other songs were stronger.
Mike helped me transform this little poem into something I never would have come up with on my own. Just another example of collaboration directly relating to artistic growth. He liked my original chorus melody, but we ended up totally revamping the verses (although they still basically retained my original lyrics, we just presented them in a different way) and making it into a really cool pop song (with some subtle country vibes of course!)
Something really cool about the production of this song, is that while I was flying for another trip home, I took time to listen to all of the sounds of an airport. Turns out there are many, and they’re pretty freaking cool. I was actually very excited, as sleep deprived as I was leaving for an early flight. It felt like the world around me was a symphony and I was realizing it for the very first time. I encourage everyone to take a second out of their busy day and listen to the sounds of the world. It’s pretty incredible, especially in an airport.
So, I listed all of these different sounds, and even recorded some, and we tried to incorporate them as much as possible. If you listen to the song, you can hear seatbelt clicks, a plane window opening and shutting, the seatbelt sign dig, a suitcase rolling, and a “moving walkway” announcement from Chicago’s O’Hare (which I’ve spent a lot of time in through the years.) I was very adamant about making that part stand out.
What is really cool about this song, is that as we worked on it, more deeper meanings beyond air travel began to emerge.
The word horizon comes up in a couple common phrases. One is to “broaden your horizons” which can be defined as “to increase the range of one's knowledge, understanding, or experience.” Which is exactly what I’ve done in my life by traveling and moving to other states. It is what I was currently doing again in Nashville.
Another phrase is “on the horizon” which is defined as “just imminent or becoming apparent.” This has a lot of meaning for me, as my first single out of Nashville, because I truly believe it is where I will look back and say “this is where it all began. This is how my music career started and what it grew from into what it is now (which will be super successful of course.)
To add even more back story, in the first song I ever took a shot at recording (it’s called Never Slowing Down) I have a line that goes “I don’t wanna say I didn’t chase the setting sun, I don’t wanna say I chose to walk when I could run.” That song was crafted from a VERY long poem I wrote about wanting to go after singing/songwriting for real, and the dilemma I faced as a college student looking at the future being laid out in front of me, and knowing that if I didn't take some type of direct action to change it, I'd never know if I could have achieved my real dreams. Here in Nashville, I truly believe I’m not chasing the setting sun anymore. I’ve caught up, and I can see everything I want to become right in front of me. For the first time in my life, it's completely within reach.