Story Behind the Song: Caylee Hammack, ‘New Level of Life’
Caylee Hammack's debut album, If It Wasn't for You, wraps up with the poppy, vaguely bombastic "New Level of Life." The song finds the singer giving thanks to an ex for breaking up with her; she's so much better off without him, she's realized.
It was a real situation Hammack found herself in, she tells The Boot, but the song took a bit to come together -- and, in fact, started as two separate songs. Below, Hammack shares the story behind "New Level of Life," which she co-wrote with Aaron Raitiere, Connor Thuotte and her co-producer, Mikey Reaves.
That song was a fluke of a situation ... It really was a wild sitch. It's funny how things can work to come together.
Me and Aaron Raitiere were drinking one day, writing songs, and I was like, "Dude, ever since this relationship broke up, I'm on a new level of life. Like, I went on this vacation, I blew all this money, but I had a great time getting over him." And I was like, "That's just how it is; I'm on a new level of life now."
He just sat there and looked at me, and he's like, [sings] "I'm on a new level of life ...," and all of a sudden, we're like, "What is this?!"
We wrote the chorus, and it sat in our back pocket for a year. I went into write with another one of my best friends, Connor Thuotte, who writes mostly pop and sync-y stuff, and he put a keyboard in front of me, and I came up with [hums the song's melody] -- came up with the hook, the melody hook -- and after that, I wanted to make a [drum] pad part, because I wanted the song -- the song was going to be called "If It Wasn't for You," and it was going to be like, "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have gotten here," blah, blah, blah.
We write the entire first verse, and all of a sudden, we get to the chorus, and my brain goes [sings] "I'm on a new level of life ..." And I sat there and was like, "Oh my gosh, I just wrote one song into another. Oh no," and I panicked.
I called [Aaron] and I went, "This sounds crazy, but me and another co-writer, I think, just wrote the verses for our chorus. Can we all come together and do this?" and he was like, "I am down!"
So, we got together, and you know what? My thing was, I wanted a song on the album that kind of leans into the poppy side, just to not my head to [the fact that] country music has raised me, but there are so many other facets in different musical genres that I love ... I wanted a song that definitely was [saying], "No, I'm taking charge. Honey, I don't need you rmoney, and I don't need you." And that song was it.
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