H.E.R. is back, releasing her new single, “The Journey.” You may have heard the single as it has been featured throughout the ESPN coverage of the NBA Playoffs Presented by Google Pixel.
ESPN has incorporated “The Journey” into a number of in-game production components, including segments with H.E.R. Through the song lyrics, the vignettes, and other production aspects depict the various routes taken by each of the 16 teams in the NBA Playoffs.
The heartfelt and exquisite ballad is H.E.R.’s first solo record to be released since the Grammy Award-winning album Back Of My Mind in 2021. As H.E.R. moves into the next phase of her career, including releasing new music and her most recent work in cinema and television, Diane Warren’s song “The Journey” also reflects H.E.R.
Appearing on Apple Music 1 with Zane Lowe, H.E.R. discussed the new single, reflecting on the song’s origin and collaborating with Diane Warren.
On creating the single, H.E.R. states:
“I just wanted to get out of the way of the song. Whatever is there, let’s just get out of the way. Don’t try to … it is what it is. Let that shine, the lyrics, the vocal. And my thing was just creating the story and the dynamic, and I worked with my band and I was kind of like, ‘All right, we need this fill here. This bass should do this line. Give it a little bit of flavor.’ We were listening to Brian Adams, we were listening to Whitney. We were listening to all my favorites, Journey, the band. And one of my favorite things about the song is the string arrangements. And it was something I do live that I’ve never done on records is sing all the string parts. So I went in and sang each individual part, and then I was like, ‘Oh, this sounds really good.’ I listened to it, just my vocal and just my vocal strings. And then we brought the strings in and it just blew my mind.”
The single is special for H.E.R. as it was created in collaboration with Diane Warren, who she first worked with at age 14:
“Someone introduced me to her and she kept up with me since then. And then I called her, I was like, ‘Would love to work with you.’ And this was in the fall, and then we made it happen and got in the studio and she was like, ‘I’ve been working on this song.’ And she played me the chords for this song. And immediately I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, how did you know this is the time?’ She’s like, ‘I didn’t. I didn’t know. I just feel like this song is meant for you.’ And I put my thing on it and I produced it out and turned into this moment. But yeah, I think it’s sent from God.”
You can hear the single in full below.