Story Behind the Song: Luke Combs, ‘Forever After All’
Luke Combs was recently engaged to his now-wife, Nicole Hocking, when he, Drew Parker and Rob Williford sat down to songwrite for the first time in the couple's home together. They'd recently moved in, and if you ask Parker, it was the decision to write in that location and at that time that got them "Forever After All."
Released in October of 2020 on What You See Ain't Always What You Get, the deluxe version of Combs' sophomore album, What You See Is What You Get, "Forever After All" quickly became a hit among fans despite not being released as a single: Thanks to early streams, which set records on Apple Music and Spotify, the song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
As of March 8, 2021, "Forever After All" is a country radio single for Combs, following 10 straight chart-topping singles, a chain that goes all the way back to the start of his career. Below, Parker tells The Boot about co-writing the song with Combs and Williford.
[Luke has] been one of my closest friends for the last five years, so I know what he is willing to say in a song, I know what he wants to say in a song, and I know what he won't say in a song, so I think that's very important: just, writing with people who know who you are as a person, as an artist, that kind of thing. I think that's kind of why he's kept us around ...
So, ["Forever After All" was] the first song that he wrote in the house he and Nicole purchased. We wrote that January of 2019 ... He had just moved in there.
It kind of started like, "Hey, what do we want to say?" that kind of thing ... To me, [a writing session] starts, "Hey, what are we in the mood for? What do we want to say today? Is it a breakup song? Is it a love song? Is it a beer-drinking party song?" and I think there was something special in that moment of it being the first song in their house together, and we kind of just started chasing a love song, and it really took on its own thing ... and it was like, "Hey, I think this is something important to say in a time like this -- I mean, we just bought a house together," that kind of thing. And at that point, it's like, "Hey, let me just step out of the way and watch where he's wanting to go with this and be there to support wherever that song goes" ...
It was definitely -- if we had written that same day somewhere else, on Music Row, I don't know that we'd have gotten that song ... I love being in a different place, somewhere I've never written before; to me, it brings out a different thing of creativity. It doesn't feel like you're just in the same monotony of writing songs every day ...
[Writing with Luke,] I've learned to dive into the creative of what somebody wants to say. I've know Luke for years ... Once he started blowing up, it was like, okay, now I know what he's trying to say. I think it's just being open to get outside of your comfort zone.
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