By Jay Johnson
What is the story behind "Fly On"?
Fly On is intended as an anthem of wanderlust inspired by the desire to break free from tedium to travel the world. I first demoed an early version right before the start of the lockdowns, which added a bittersweet element to the song once both travel and music were necessarily put on hold. I still haven't flown anywhere since the start of the pandemic, but I can't wait to do so, and that longing feeling has become part of the song for me.
With 2020 derailing my musical plans, I set out to record and release my debut solo album as a series of four themed EPs. In Nature came first in March 2021, followed by In Change in July 2021. Fly On is the first single off In Transit, which will be out in November 2021. In Transit will be travel-themed, and I'll release one more single, Think Of You, in October ahead of its release.
What Inspired the Song?
A combination of wanderlust and being sick of targeted advertising and excessive materialism. I've been fortunate to travel extensively across the country and abroad, and I still get as excited as a little kid when I fly. It's such a neat experience we often take for granted. I find myself daydreaming about jetting off somewhere new more than I probably should, especially over this last year and a half.
What's your favorite part about performing this song?
As with all my solo material, I performed everything but the drums and my friend Mattie Klauser engineered and played the drums. I genuinely enjoyed tracking all the parts on this one, especially the organ, electric piano, and bass. When I've played this song live, it's been fun to strip the song down to a piano and a single vocal, but I do like how all the parts come together to create a mellow, energetic feel.
What do you hope people take away from this song?
If you have wanderlust, follow it. Never stop exploring, even if it's just in your backyard. What is mundane to you would be exotic to someone from around the world, and vice versa, so make a point to appreciate the small beauties we all so often overlook. Existential value outweighs the value (and burden) of acquiring material things-- to borrow a phrase from Corporate America, I hope our culture can find a better 'work-life balance.
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