You might not expect an all-male band to record a song about female empowerment, but then again, maybe you don’t know the guys in Old Dominion. The group members recently celebrated their third No. 1 hit with “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” the first single from their new album “Happy Endings,” but one of their favorite songs from the new project is “Be With Me,” a song written for their daughters.
“Girl power: It’s not something you would expect a band of five dudes to write a song or make a video about,” admits Old Dominion lead vocalist Matthew Ramsey, “especially a band like mine, whose first hit single opened up with the line ‘Hey girl. Wassup?’ To be quite honest, it wasn’t something we expected either,” Matthew explained in an article he penned for Refinery29.
During a rare day home in Nashville, Matthew and OD lead guitarist Brad Tursi had a writing appointment with hit songwriter/producer Ross Copperman. While under pressure to finish a second song before Matthew had to pick his girls up from school, potential lyrics began flying back and forth, and the song quickly took shape.
Hearing their demo again later, Matthew admits he was surprised. “We thought we had hastily spit out a song that sounded like a fun hit song that girls would want to hear,” he said. “A few days later when I listened back I heard something different. When I called Ross and Brad, I was happy to find they had the same experience. Underneath the candy-coated melody and popping production of the demo was a surprising message of female empowerment.”
Video director Steve Condon had the idea to “make a video that showcased all types of strong women,” Matthew says. “We hadn’t discussed the meaning of this song at all with him, he just gets us. He is also a father of daughters.”
When the video — which you can watch above — was finished and they viewed it together on the bus, the guys cheered. “We watched as women from all over the county told their stories, let go of their inhibitions, laughed, cried, sang, and danced to our music,” he says. “Our moms even made surprise appearances at the end.”
Matthew is hoping the song will inspire and encourage women. “Between the seven dudes who created this song and video, there are 11 daughters,” he says. “Hopefully one day they watch this video and see how inspiring they can be, just by being themselves. The women in my life show me that every day … They work, they play, they sacrifice, they create, they protect, and they love hard. I hope my little girls watch it one day and can see that their daddy wasn’t just the dude who sang ‘Hey girl. Wassup?’ He was the father that said ‘Hey girl, it’s your world.’”