It Is What It Is Lyrical Secrets

Writing lyrics is one of my favorite parts of the songwriting process. I loved crafting the lyrics on my EP, It Is What It Is, and got creative with some of the choices I made both while writing and recording in the studio. To celebrate It Is What It Is being out for two months, I thought it’d be fun to reveal some of my lyrical secrets.

“You Get What You Give” Inspired the Title of My EP

I love to title projects by choosing a word or phrase that captures the overarching concept and emotion. It Is What It Is holds much significance as a bold statement that reflects topics on the project and the fierce nature of the decisions I sing about in the five tracks. Simply knowing the EP’s title provides a glimpse into what someone can expect when they listen, and this title came from writing the chorus of “You Get What You Give.”

I ain’t gonna give no more.

It is what it is.

You get what you give.

Not gonna forgive no more.

It is what it is.

You get what you give.

I loved using a song lyric as the EP’s title because it felt authentic. Once I selected this title, the writing process for the rest of the project had direction and purpose. Rather than writing a bunch of songs with no thread in mind, knowing the EP’s title early on focused my writing and ultimately played a huge role when it came time for me to choose the track list.

“Halfway Outta This Town” Mentions It Is What It Is Too

Once I knew which songs would be on the EP, I thought it’d be crafty to drop the title in another song. “Halfway Outta This Town” jumped out at me as a solid choice. I extended the last chorus and wrote the EP’s title into the lyrics in a way that naturally fits the concept and storyline of “Halfway Outta This Town.”

Did you really think I’d hang around,

All the rocky roads I can live without?

You broke my trust, confirmed my doubts,

So I’m not comin’ back for another round.

It is what it is, get over me somehow,

‘Cause I’m halfway outta this town.

This chorus is one of my favorite parts of the EP. Extending the chorus to drop the project’s title draws attention to it in a bold way. Though “Halfway Outta This Town” is an emotional piano ballad, it still has undertones that color the message with a strong finality. It Is What It Is captures my journey of taking back control of my life, and the lyrics, “It is what it is, get over me somehow, ‘cause I’m halfway outta this town,” tie directly to that concept.

The Butterfly in “Halfway Outta This Town”

“Halfway Outta This Town” is a very special song to me. Where “Will I Ever” is the gem on Dear Diary, I feel that “Halfway Outta This Town” is the gem on It Is What It Is. So, to mark it as an extra special song, I decided to mention a butterfly in the lyrics.

When a butterfly spreads its wings,

And you skip a beat, ‘cause you think of me,

Do you watch it fly, or close your eyes?

Butterflies have become the symbol of my brand. This began when I included butterflies in the second verse of “Will I Ever.” The lyrics that mention a butterfly in “Halfway Outta This Town” are from the second verse as well. That’s a meaningful parallel that I noticed after “Halfway Outta This Town” was written, so my subconscious must’ve been working its magic.

As I continue to write music, I’ll include butterflies when it feels natural. Out of all the songs I’ve released, only two mention butterflies. “Will I Ever” and “Halfway Outta This Town” are two of my favorite songs I’ve ever written, and they’re both close to my heart. It’s safe to say that the next song of mine to mention butterflies will be a special one, too. 

Hint, I already started recording my third song with butterflies in the lyrics, and it’s a rare gem. Find out which song it is by reading my blog post from my last studio session from 2022.

Lyrical Crossover Through Ad-Libs on It Is What It Is

Recording background vocals is one of the most fun parts of the recording process. I love singing ad-libs, or improvised lyrics, and I got super crafty with the ad-libs on It Is What It Is.

Every song on It Is What It Is is either referenced by, or has ad-libs that are lyrics from, other songs on the EP. Did that last sentence make your brain explode? If so, I’ll give you a second to process it.

I’m going to reveal exactly what songs have ad-libs that are lyrics from other songs.

“Afterthought” references both “I Hope You Know You’re Lucky” and “You Get What You Give” in the bridge.

After I sing, “I’m so much stronger now,” I add, “Don’t forget it.” “Don’t forget it” comes from the bridge of “I Hope You Know You’re Lucky.” 

Next, I sing, “So you won’t ever get me down,” and the ad-lib, “I hate to break it to ya,” comes from the end of the bridge in “You Get What You Give.”

“Afterthought” isn’t the only song that has lyrics from others. “Halfway Outta This Town” has a lyrical crossover as well.

“Halfway Outta This Town” shares a lyric with “Follow My Compass.” Right before the bridge, the ad-lib, “Won’t lose my direction now,” is a lyric from the end of the bridge in “Follow My Compass.”

“Afterthought” is the first track on It Is What It Is and has ad-libs that are lyrics from tracks three and four, “You Get What You Give” and “I Hope You Know You’re Lucky.” “Halfway Outta This Town” is the second song and references track five, “Follow My Compass.” So, the first two songs on the EP foreshadow what’s to come on the rest of the project through ad-libs that are lyrics from the other songs. Pretty cool, huh? I definitely think so.

When I was in the studio, I gave my producer printouts of all the songs, and we sorted through them for lyrics that could work as ad-libs. After freestyling several options, we landed on the ones that felt most authentic. This was a ton of fun, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the crossover happens in bridges. I love bridges, and I think their creative possibilities are endless.

Aside from simply being crafty, the lyrical crossover strengthens the connection between the songs on It Is What It Is. The project tells an overarching story from start to finish, and tying the songs together lyrically enhances this story. Though the songs stand alone with their own stories and messages, they’re all tracks on a project, five songs that make up something greater. Having them intertwined through the lyrics is a unique way to show that each song plays a role in telling the It Is What It Is story.

The Overall Lyrical Significance

The lyrics on It Is What It Is are significant for the project to sound cohesive. While writing and recording the songs, I basically threw genre rules out the window. This project has many genre influences, and all five songs are one-of-a-kind musically. Therefore, I made it a point to give extra attention to my lyrics.

Since I believe in authenticity, I make sure my lyrics capture my personal experiences and emotions. For that reason, my voice as a songwriter will always be genuine, no matter the style of music. I love exploring various musical landscapes to stay creative and consistently share music that is fresh and diverse. Still, the one thing that remains constant in every song I write is my authenticity. It Is What It Is has songs that fall into various styles, but the project sounds like me from “Afterthought” to “Follow My Compass” because the lyrics are firmly rooted in my life. 

Also, the musical choices I make affect the way my story is communicated sonically. Though these choices influence the way the lyrical content is perceived, the core remains in my heart. Whether I choose to make a song a ballad or a fierce uptempo song, all that changes is the way I paint the lyrics, the colors that bring emotional meaning to what I’m saying. So, it’s important to me to be diverse with the styles of music I write and record. I aim to share my story in the way that best captures it on an emotional level, and therefore, the musical choices achieve this expression.

It Is What It Is EP Art

It Is What It Is is a very special project to me, and the lyrical choices I made enhance the significance of the project as a whole. I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into my lyrical secrets.

Now that you’ve read about the lyrics, give It Is What It Is a listen on your favorite music platform and keep your ears open for all the secrets I revealed.