Story Behind the Song: Keith Urban, ‘My Wave’
"My Wave," a breezy, uptempo track off of Keith Urban's 2018 album Graffiti U, was written by Urban alongside Greg Wells and songwriter and performer Shy Carter, who also contributes vocals to the track. Urban says that while he was writing the song, he was chasing a summery, reggae-inspired feel, but the lyrics are personal, inspired by moments from his life as well as wise words from Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn. Read on to learn more about the track.
I always wanted to write a reggae song, or a song with a reggae feel, anyway. We play a bit of [Bob Marley and the Wailers'] "No Woman, No Cry" in concerts sometimes, and during summer shows, that's a feel that's really fun to play, as a musician.
We were talking about being in your own zone in life, and not letting people get in your way as far as the naysayers, the trolls, all that stuff. It's about being on your own wave and living life on your own terms and staying in your own lane. The idea of the wave became about living your own life and being true to yourself.
It became a very personal song, because it's about me. You know, I roll with the punches and go with the flow. I used to fight against the tide, but I learned my lesson, and now I know there's a better way to live this life ...
Many years ago, a really great Aussie actor named Ben Mendelsohn was doing a film with [my wife, Nicole Kidman], and we were in Australia, on set, and we were talking about those kinds of people, the ones that rain on your parade. He goes, "You gotta watch out for the shine-blockers." I'm like, "The what?" He goes, "The shine-blockers. They're everywhere. They're terrible people. You gotta get around the shine-blockers." And I thought, "I will use that in a song someday."
Shy Carter is one of the writers on the song. I told him, "You should do a little rap breakdown in the song, and you can say whatever you want, but please start with the line, 'You've gotta watch out for the shine-blockers.'" That's how that happened.
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