Gwen Opens Up About Songwriting to NPR; Teases New Song “Me Without You” (Updated)


NPR Host Rachel Martin opens up the fantastic interview with Gwen saying her new album “is a direct response to a very painful and public breakup”. Gwen elaborated and spoke about how her life fell apart last February and has been picking up the pieces by keeping focused. “Somehow I’ve got to turn this around. I can’t go down like this,” she recalls telling her girlfriend shortly after. Gwen says that she knew she had to turn her energy and feelings into songwriting and says the album documents her journey. She shared that she’s been getting through this tough time by having faith and believing in herself and “wanting to do something about it”.

We’re treated to a small clip of the ballad “Me Without You”, which appears as one of the last tracks on This Is What the Truth Feels Like.

When asked if it’s tough for her to sing and write such personal lyrics, Gwen says again that everything is happening in real time and shared that “Used To Love You” was released only three weeks after she had written it. Gwen shares that she’s still in the middle of finalizing her divorce. When asked if there are certain things she won’t write about, she says that she didn’t edit herself while writing this album. “I’m just writing what I feel and I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong and I have nothing to hide.” Gwen’s biggest concern still lies with her children and keeping them protected. “I think that when you’re being honest and truthful… I just believe that’s the best way to be ultimately.”

Now that Gwen is in a much happier place in her life, she is asked if finding inspiration to write joyous songs comes as easy as channeling from pain. Gwen says on the new album, “… it starts off angry, sad, mad, angry, angry [laughs], and quite sarcastic. It really does take a huge change to hope. And so to have a friend [Blake] come along when I just thought it was over for me, it’s a real true miracle.” Gwen says it’s an incredible feeling to be writing happy songs for once, “…to be able to write a record that’s mainly about being happy. That’s something new for me.” She quickly points out that she is a very happy person but has had quite a rocky past with her relationships.

Gwen admits that she was burnt out while writing Push and Found and struggled during the writing process before finding out she was pregnant with son Apollo. “Sometimes life is so crazy, you have to go through something to be able to find out what you’re supposed to talk about next, and I think that’s what happened to me.” After accepting her new role on The Voice, Gwen felt like she needed to put out music on her own again and found herself struggling again. “I just gave birth, I’m nursing, I’m on a new TV show and I have two other kids. It’s impossible! So let’s do it the way we can. And I tried that for a while, and actually had almost a whole record. I put out a song called “Baby Don’t Lie” — I don’t know if you remember that one. But overall, it just didn’t feel right.” Gwen shared that she had moved on from the material she was working on. She says that “Spark the Fire” was the first bit of original writing that she attempted in a long time.

Gwen opened up about Push and Shove saying that she felt like she lost confidence in herself since the album wasn’t successful. “Songwriting, for me, has always been traumatic, and I’ve always made all these excuses.” She says that she had every intention of releasing huge hits again and being on the radio when her album (which she calls “the fake, cheating version”) was being curated for her but found herself wanting to go in a different direction since her breakup.


Gwen was interviewed earlier in the week by NPR host Rachel Martin and has shared that she will be featured next Sunday, March 13, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday show. The broadcast will air on NPR Member stations across the US and worldwide on NPR KUOW from 5:00AM-10:00AM. The entire radio podcast looks like it will be shared from the day featuring individual clips to download and listen to which will include Gwen on Rachel Tweeted out how excited she was to talk to Gwen and called her “kind, funny, gracious and disarmingly honest”.

6 Replies to “Gwen Opens Up About Songwriting to NPR; Teases New Song “Me Without You” (Updated)”

  1. I love NPR. The interviewer asked some great questions, that were deeper then some of the ones she usually gets asked.

  2. I love how at the end of the interview Gwen was like, “wow, you’re awesome”. I love how thoughtful NPR interviews are and she apparently appreciates that, too.

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