Cory Asbury Reflects on His Upbringing In New Song “My Inheritance”

Cory Asbury has unveiled another deeply personal track ahead of the release of his fifth studio album, Pioneer, on September 15. The autobiographical ballad “My Inheritance,” out now, has the Nashville-based singer/songwriter reflecting on his challenging upbringing.

Videos by American Songwriter

In an interview with American Songwriter, Asbury says “My Inheritance” best describes where he is in his life right now. Seated beside his wife, Anna, Asbury opened up about the confessional ballad. 

“I grew up with a dad who was rough, rough in a lot of ways,” Asbury tells American Songwriter. “Wasn’t the typical amazing dad that you always call. … It was a lot of difficulty in the home as a young man and I think [I was] processing that with a lot of anger even. Frustration even at God, like, ‘Why would you give me this dad that I didn’t feel like I got a lot from?’ I felt like I just got hurt and pain and suffering out of it.”

[RELATED: Cory Asbury Releases First New Music in Three Years with “Kind”]

Asbury says he processed his childhood through writing the song with Shane Stevens and Paul Mabury.

“Things never really look the way you think they’re gonna look,” he adds. “I think that’s one of those songs where I was like, ‘Man, I expected to get a certain thing from my family and my upbringing and I got a lot of difficult circumstances.’ But, it made me who I was supposed to be. It’s the stupid goofy little adage, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ I really believe in that.”

I knew he loved his whiskey
I knew he loved his wine
But I was never quite sure if he loved me
And I always wondered why
I didn’t want his money
Lord knows he didn’t have much
Maybe this guitar he gave me
Was his “I believe in you son”

Now looking back on his life, Asbury sees that his father gave him a love for music. His father owned a record store while Asbury was growing up and he gifted him his first guitar.

“The line in the song is maybe this guitar. He didn’t say a whole lot of other things to me that were nice, but maybe this guitar / was his ‘I believe in you son.’ And that changed my life because songwriting is everything,” Asbury reflects. “That’s the way I process and figure out life. I think that’s the song where I feel like I’m still living and still gaining so much wisdom from, even the difficulty of growing up with a parent who’s kind of hard. I think a lot of people can relate to that. A lot of our upbringings weren’t as awesome as we’d hoped. But I think if we lean into it, if we lean into that suffering, let it teach us, there’s a lot of wisdom to be found from that pain.”

Listen to Asbury’s “My Inheritance” below.

(Photo Credit: Rachel and Connor Dwyer / Courtesy Paul Freundlich Associates)

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