We take you behind the scenes and explore the making of one of our favorite tunes with The Song Remembers When…
In 2018, Keith Urban released the second single from his Graffiti U album. “Coming Home” was an idea that first started after Keith played the guitar riff of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried.” He said that for some reason after playing that riff over and over, he thought of the story of coming home.
The song was co-written by Keith, J.R Rotem, Nicolle Galyon, and Julia Michaels. Plus, Merle Haggard gets a songwriting credit for the sampling of “Mama Tried.” Keith brought the idea to J.R. Rotem. He’s mostly known for his work in the pop and R&B world. They worked on the song and felt like it still needed something, so Keith turned to pop artist Julia Michaels.
Julia understood that Keith wanted the song to be about coming home, so she suggested the lyric: “I know it’s only one call away, but it’s not the same.” Keith felt that line summed up the message he was going for. As she sang that part in the songwriting session, he said that it made sense for her to join him on the recording.
The song was a Top Five hit, peaking at number three, in August 2018, and it’s this week’s The Song Remembers When. Here’s Keith with “Coming Home,” featuring Julia Michaels.