Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘Hey Stephen’ Barker Liles Gets Personal About Taylor Swift and Songwriting

April 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Latest Articles, Music


You may know Stephen Barker Liles as one half of the Nashville duo Love and Theft, but what you may not know is that back in 2008 he was the subject of Taylor Swift‘s affection in the name titled song “Hey Stephen“ that Swift wrote after having a crush on Liles while they toured together. “I wrote about all these reasons he should be with me  instead of other girls,”  Swift shared in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine.  ”Hey Stephen” was  released on Swift’s sophomore album, Fearless in November 2008 and Liles didn’t even know of the song  until right before the album was released. “Taylor called me up and was like, ‘Hey I wrote a song about you,’  and I got a little nervous because I didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing,”  Liles said. “But after hearing the song, it was definitely one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me.” And for those who know the story of “Hey Stephen,” this is where it would seem to come to an end, however, no good story is complete without a twist.


We have featured Love and Theft here on Planet Verge a few times in the last three years and a few months back , during a follow-up interview, I was talking with Liles about touring with with Swift and about “Hey Stephen” when he paused and said, “You know what’s funny about that whole thing is that I actually wrote a song for Taylor at the same time that she wrote ‘Hey Stephen’ for me. So when Taylor called me [back in 2008] and told me about the song she wrote for me I actually was like ‘ That’s really funny because I wrote a song about you too,’” Liles shared. “It was a weird moment because I wasn’t expecting her to say she wrote a song for me and I think it was a mutual thing on her end too, but she asked me what the words were so I only told her a little bit. I was like, ‘This world is goin’ crazy, but baby what do you say we try to make it anyway?’ And that was that.”

After hearing more about the song titled, “Try to Make it Anyway” , I had asked Liles if there was a recording of it available to which he shared,  ”No, but I probably should make one. It’s really one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. Taylor is such an awesome girl, and I’ve had a lot of family and friends tell me that they think I should put it out for people to hear, so I’ll have to get on that soon.”  Apparently hounding from family and friends to release the song has paid off because Liles  just sent us an intimate acoustic video of the song this week and is letting us exclusively release here. ”Planet Verge has been good to us, this whole experience with the song was just fun too,” Liles said. “I did the recording in the studio I have in my house and filmed the video in my backyard–in my barn actually, which my buddy Aaron Thomas helped me out with all of that. I really just love songwriting and this song has become one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.”


As far as what’s next for Love and Theft, Liles told us, “Eric and I have actually been working really hard, we’ve been in studio and doing stuff with a new label and new producer Josh Leo. Lord willing, we’ll be putting out a new song real soon-we’ll be making those announcements here in the next few weeks, so everything is moving forward and we’re really stoked about the new direction we’re going [in].”

And as for the coincidence of Liles and Swift writing a song for each other at the same time? “We spent a lot of time on the road together and just had a good connection,” Liles said. “She’s really an awesome person and a stand-up girl too. She’s so great to her fans and to everybody she meets. Taylor truly is one of the greatest people I know because she genuinely loves people in a way only the Lord would; I think that’s the biggest compliment I could ever give someone.”

So for your listening-and viewing-pleasure we give you the exclusive video for Stephen Barker Liles song for Taylor Swift, “Try to Make It Anyway.”

“Try to Make It Anyway” is available now for download on iTunes.

Questions for Stephen?

We’ll be taking fans questions for Stephen in our comment section that will be answered within the next week, so if you’d like to know more about “‘Try to Make it Anyway” post your question below and check back for a follow up article to see if your question was picked!

*By Candace, who has been addicted to waffles, waffle shots, waffle house-pretty much anything waffle related- far too much lately. Do they have a rehab for this issue?

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36 Responses to “‘Hey Stephen’ Barker Liles Gets Personal About Taylor Swift and Songwriting”
  1. Chelsea says:

    Has anyone else ever written a song about you before? :)

  2. Natalie says:

    Do you think you will you ever put your demo song “Dancin’ with the Angels” or any other ones on an upcoming album? it is my favorite song and is its too amazing not to share with everyone…

  3. Allison says:

    Are you still in contact with her? You should do a(nother) show together!

  4. Julie says:

    Will Love and Theft perform in any cities near Boone NC anytime soon?

  5. athena says:

    stephen, have you and taylor ever talked about writing a song & performing it together? I’m pretty sure that’d be pure magic =)

  6. Ronnie Tango says:

    Sounds like another hit from SBL to me….Ronnie Tango

  7. rach says:

    I’m already addicted to this song. Did you and Taylor ever hook up?

  8. Nikki says:

    Why did u decide to release the song now?

  9. Jo ann says:

    So Taylor wrote the song because she had a crush on u and u wrote the song because u had a crush on her too?? Do u write songs about girls u have crushes on too?? If si what are some of the songs?

  10. Bobbi jo says:

    I’m honestly in love with this song, will we evr be able to hear it on radio

  11. Ashley says:

    This is my new favorite song!! Why wasn’t it released sooner?! Please bring Eric with you and put on a show at Country Thunder WI in July!!!

  12. Claire says:

    Stephen – Thats so sweet!! :) Im so surprised to hear all this. Have you ever suspected that maybe another fan has written a little something for you?? :) Cant wait to see you in May!!!

  13. Danielle says:

    Great song! I love the intimate video a lot. Thanks for this. I watched the next video after this one with your sister singing it part of BHB and couldn’t help but wonder would you guys ever do a duet of the song together?

  14. Danielle says:

    (Danielle from post above) PS Stephen, I’m still waiting for that tweet or RT, anything you promised me from the show last February! Thanks (@danielledeutsch on twitter) ;)

  15. Jayme says:

    Stephen I wish ud write a song about me, what about girls inspires u to write songs aboutthem? Do u have to feel a special cOnnection or is there just something instant that catches you off guard?

  16. SBL's girlie says:

    This is so AWESOME to hear, I’m addicted to this song already. Do you think you and Taylor will ever actually date or get together? I think you guys would make AMAZING music!!

  17. Beverly Kolm says:

    Has Taylor heard the song? Great job!

  18. Maria says:

    LOve the song! is it available on itunes? Im definitely your biggest Norwegian fan now!

  19. Margaret says:

    Stephen, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Great song and great video! It’s destined to go viral! :-)

  20. Sarah b says:

    Obviously I’m sure Taylor has heard the song by now, have y two talked at all since u released it??

  21. candace says:

    Hey guys, check out the video from your iPhone, iPad or other mobile device now!! U can take “Try to Make it Anyway”, with you anywhere from the link below!!

  22. Rachel says:

    Has she ever heard the whole song? Did you guys ever date? Hey steven is amazing! Do you stay in touch?

  23. barbie says:


  24. Jean Marie says:

    I love stephen so much and taylor and this song….will you ask taylor out on a date already so u can get married and she can have her fairy tale

  25. diandra says:

    what happened to the our song for you contest winner? are you still writing her song?

  26. squid says:

    when are you going to be singing the song live for all of us to hear stephen? is eric gonna be playing it with you?

  27. NancyG says:

    Nice to see your old Taylor again (the guitar, I mean). Great song!

  28. Bonnie says:

    U and Eric should release acoustic versions of stuff like this online for all of us to hear, I’ve heard some of both of ur old stuff and I love it, this that’s something you’d consider doing?

  29. Josslyn says:

    Great song but not really digging Stephen’s new look.

  30. Lisa says:

    I think if Stephen knew me he’d make a gazillion dollars writing about me!;)My whole life is a song.And hey Stephen is one of my very favorite songs besides Angel eyes

  31. Brittney says:

    I think you too would be great together and it’s so sweet that you guys wrote songs about each other :)

  32. Trisha Valdez says:

    GREAT song but knowing Stephen personally, Taylor is definately not his type but this song showcases Stephens amazing vocals.


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. [...] recently released “Try to Make it Anyway”, his follow up to the Taylor [...]

  2. [...] was a unusual moment,” Stephen tells Planet Verge . “Because I wasn’t expecting her to assert she wrote a song for me and that i think it [...]

  3. [...] wrote a song for Taylor at the same time that she wrote ‘Hey Stephen’ for me,” he tells Planet Verge. “So when Taylor called me [back in 2008] and told me about the song she wrote for me I [...]

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