Nina de Vitry just released her new album "What You Feel Is Real," and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about one of the songs and she picked the record's title track. Here is the story:
One song on the album that I would like to shed more light on is the title track, "What You Feel Is Real." This song is based on a real story, and, in my opinion, is the most vulnerable track on the album. I wrote this song about an experience I had struggling to leave a relationship. All of the verses are based on moments of this relationship that stood out in my mind as I processed how I had spent so much time engaging in something that didn't feel aligned. Instead of dwelling on self-criticism or lamenting wasting time, I wanted this song to validate one's power in trusting personal intuition. After I had written all of the verses to the song, I sat down with my friend Kai Welch to hone the chorus. With the help of his guiding questions, I realized that the underlying message of the song was that our feelings are real, period. The long, extended melody of the chorus flowed naturally from the lyrics, and the repetition bolsters that sense of the narrator pleading with the listener to trust their gut.
I really liked the idea of using this song as the title track, because many of the album's songs deal with reckoning with complicated human emotions. Aside from the track being about getting out of a toxic relationship, it also broadly deals with the idea that we are not crazy for the emotions we have. In fact, I believe our emotions often have something to teach us, and that they should be acknowledged accordingly. Though we may not always understand why we are feeling a certain emotion, there is no denying that the feelings themselves are real.
In the last few years, I have noticed that many people, particularly women and marginalized groups of people, are socialized to doubt their perception of reality. The story of this song specifically is about learning to trust the voice in your gut that a relationship is toxic and wrong, but this idea of trusting your gut can be applied to so many areas in life.
I have had so many experiences recently where I have had to fight so hard to communicate my feelings or ideas, only to find that after being met with constant pushback, my instincts were usually correct all along. I have experienced this in relationships. In medical settings. In the professional settings. In creative settings. I want this song and this album to remind people that our gut and our instinct is there to guide us and tell us what we need to hear and to say. It can be a constant battle standing up for yourself, but we all deserve to be our own greatest advocates. I am committed to honoring my feelings and instincts and trying to share my stories honestly so that it may help others to do the same.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here