Singled Out: Nutana's You Belong

Keavin Wiggins | 03-15-2023

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Nutana Album art
Album art

Sam Corbett, founding member of JUNO Award-winning and platinum-selling band The Sheepdogs, has launched a new project called Nutana. To celebrate we asked Sam to tell us about the song "You Belong", from the project's forthcoming album that arrives on April 7th. Here is the story:

I have a Wurlitzer electric piano sitting on the dresser in our bedroom, and I was lying in bed late one evening when the basic idea for "You Belong" came into my head. So, I walked over to the wurly, played and sang a little bit of it into the voice memo app on my phone, and went back to bed. When I started writing this Singled Out feature for antiMusic I relistened to that voice memo, and I was surprised by a couple different things.

The first was the date it was recorded: May 19th, 2018. It was A) a lot longer ago than I thought, and B) also about a month before I first received my cancer diagnosis. To me, it's interesting to think about the things that were going on inside my body that I had no idea about when I first got the idea for this song. The second thing that surprised me was how different the voice memo sounded from the current version of the song. The only lyric I had at the time was the opening one ("if you keep what you find"), and the rest I just kinda hummed. The melody and the rhythm are also somewhat different, and I have to admit, I can't really even remember how it morphed into the final version (although I did find a second demo from a couple days later where I play it again, and this time it does have the "You Belong" lyric, and it's overall a little closer to the album version).

When I started making the demos of the songs that would become my debut album (out April 7th, 2023), I was just making them in a spare room at my house, and I was playing all the instruments myself, which is pretty different from my normal role in The Sheepdogs where I only play the drums. I was trying to think of something else I could put on the "You Belong" demo when I came across my old saxophone from high school band. I hadn't played it in at least a couple years, but after noodling around for a while I came up with a part I liked well enough, and all of a sudden that part became an important piece of the song. For the album version, I brought in my dad to play the sax part instead of myself. He's been working as a professional musician my entire life, and it was a fun way for us to collaborate on something (he's also about 100 times better at playing sax than me).

"You Belong" was the first song we recorded when we went into the studio, and it was also the last song to be completely finished (nearly a year later, thanks to some COVID-related delays). I think that really speaks to how important this song is to me. "You Belong" is about imposter syndrome, a thought pattern where someone doubts their talent, or is afraid of being exposed as a fraud. I think this is something a lot of people deal with, and I'm no exception. To me, "You Belong" is about overcoming that fear, and being proud of who you are, whoever that is.

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

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Singled Out: Nutana's You Belong

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