By Aaron Wagner
Rising country artist Paige King Johnson recently released her latest single “Just Like You.”
The North Carolina native’s new song has this timeless sound to it that can truly fit into any era of country music. Paige has the type of voice that we need to hear more of in country music and as she shows in “Just Like You” she’s able to be vulnerable and wear her feelings on her sleeve, no matter what they are.
Paige chatted with us about what all went into the making of “Just Like You”, what the song means to her and what she hopes fans takeaway from it when they listen to it.
Raised On It: What was the inspiration and thought process behind “Just Like You?”
Paige: “It’s a love song and I don’t write a lot of love songs just because I don’t like talking about love. I actually had the idea written down in my phone.”
“I had the first verse of the song written down and went to a friend of mine that I actually met in college. She’s always kind of been my “go-to” for songs that I really know have potential and wanna make sure they’re written right. Her name is Regan Rousseau and I went to her and said ‘I have this verse, I know it’s a love song, but I don’t know how to do it to make it right.'”
“We came up with this whole back and forth. I think with relationships that’s really all it is, just going back and forth, both of you screwing up and not deserving the other person, but each person giving each other grace and coming back every single day and giving more to that relationship.”
Raised On It: How long did it take to finish the song?
Paige: “We finished the song really quickly and looked at each other like ‘Is it suppose to be that easy?’ But instantly fell in love with it.”
Raised On It: Do you enjoy co-writing or prefer to write by yourself?
Paige: “Co-writing is a lot like going on blind dates because there’s this new person and you have to get to know them as a person and on a music level and how they write. You have to pour your heart out into this 3 1/2= minute song. It took time to get use to, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite things. Over the last 5 years I’ve created this circle of people I know I love to write with and that I write well with.”
Raised On It: Which artists helped influence or shape this song?
Paige: “I’m very heavily influenced by all the classic country artists. I grew up listening to people like Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline and I still listen to it all the time. So a morph of that and all the great ladies from the 90s and mixing that all together into whatever this song needed to sound like on its own. I’m very much a ‘pro-song person.’ I don’t really like to create a whole punch of production around a song. I think that a good song needs to be able to stand up on its own legs and if it can’t do that, then it probably shouldn’t be out in the world in general.”
“So when we went into the studio, I told my producer Bill ‘Listen, it needs to have steel guitar in it because I don’t want a song out there that doesn’t have steel guitar in it, it needs keys and I didn’t want it to be over-produced.’ It is a slower love song, I think the words and the lyrics need to stand out above everything else.”
“We had recorded this song in May of last year and had been working together for awhile by then and we got each other. That was important to me.
Raised On It: What is your favorite lyrical phrase in the entire song and why?
Paige: “I would probably say in the second line of the second verse, it’s the girl’s viewpoint. “Falling apart to see how far you’ll go to fix it.”
“I think that’s the general message of the whole song. Sometimes we test the other person just to see how committed they are in the relationship, which is not the best thing to do but it happens. Whether it’s intentional or just us being stubborn at the time. I think that for me, that was me putting myself into the song and it is still very true today.”
Raised On It: Why did you want to make this song your next release?
Paige: “Even when we took it into the studio, we knew this was a special song. And we knew that this song needed to get out in some form at some point.”
“It’s funny how things end up working out and falling into place because originally we were gonna be releasing the song in spring. When everything hit, my team wasn’t able to get everything together with a music video and everything else. I was really bummed.”
“I decided to sit on it for awhile. It didn’t feel right to release it when everything was shut down. With that came bringing on more people to the team, which was really exciting and brining in different people for the music video that’s going to be released in November. Things happened way better than they probably would have if I would’ve released it then. It’s just been special throughout the whole process.”
Raised On It: When people hear the song, what do you hope they takeaway from it?
Paige: “I hope that they can just love somebody.”
“Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a family relationship, a friend relationship, whatever. I think a lot of us get really comfortable in the relationships with the people that are just always there all the time. And we can take for granted everything that they do and just having somebody there to lean on.”
“If it needs to be a song that you use to just grab somebody and dance around in the kitchen one night….I’m all about making some sunshine in 2020 because it’s been pretty crappy. I hope that it can do that for other people too.”