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