Behind the Song - Never Knew and It’s Visual Identity.


As a songwriter one of the most fascinating things, I find is listening to other artists talk about the stories behind their songs. It brings the songs and lyrics into a whole new light as well as giving you an insight into the writing process. Similarly, I love talking about songwriting as it’s a creative medium with a lot of nuance and so much to explore. As such, I wanted to give you an insight into each of my songs from my debut EP ‘From the Stars Above’. This final post will cover ‘Never Knew’ the upbeat, and my personal favourite, track. The rest of the tracks are available to read now  


‘Never Knew’ has been a favourite track of mine for a while and I think it’s down to always having a vivid idea of the song and identifying completely with it. When I conceived the song, I already had a beginning, middle and end constructed in my head. A story that was influenced by real events experienced by my friends and myself.  


In my head I had an image of a bar in a city, blue ambient lighting and two people catching eyes across the room. While this sounds like your obvious “movie” setup it gave me grounding from where the story might unfold and how it could move forward within that visual perimeter. I wrote a guitar hook for the verse so that the song was immediately catchy to the ear but also gave me more room to explore with the lyrics and line length, conveying as much story as possible, as I knew underneath there would be a rhythmic constant. The chorus then switched to strumming and drawn-out notes as the voice in the song reflected on the events described in the verse, as if they were stretching back into the past trying to remember what had happened.  


For some reason I always associated ‘Never Knew’ with the colour blue, whether to do with a form of synaesthesia or not, to me it always had to end on an unhappy note. Not to mention the experiences that influenced the song never went anywhere just like the ending of ‘Never Knew’. The question was, in which section of the song would I reveal the truth? I could have introduced it early on like in my other track ‘She Is’, however, it felt more natural for the reveal to be in the bridge/middle 8. By doing this, not only is it a nice reflection of these flirtations, where it’s often too late before you realise to make your move but there is a good call back to, ‘She Is’ with the line “you’re not mine” which was added by myself at a later date during the production of the EP. It also creates a fresh perspective on the last two chorus’ now you know the outcome of the evening described. 


Other than the small lyrical changes as mentioned and the adding of an extended break down ‘Never Knew’ was the easiest song to translate from my original acoustic version to the one you hear today. As I say it has clear identity which made it simple for my producer Chris and myself to fill out with other instruments. Chris with ease added a lead guitar vamp across the verses and a synth organ in the chorus to elevate the energy and sound and I conceived a small solo in the latter half of the song to build on the growing momentum. 


I believe this identification also comes across to the listener as the track was picked up by a few radio stations, including the new music show on Hive and Ivory Thing on Spark FM for its playability. I would love to know the impression you get from ‘Never Knew’ and see how it differs from my own. I am always open to new interpretations, especially if it is in ways I haven’t thought about before.  


If you found this dissection of my song ‘Never Knew’ interesting let me know! You can message me on Instagram and Facebook (@samnixmusic) or through my contact page on the website.