Exclusive: Cody Jasper Soaks Up Unconditional Love on “Who You Are”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

“I was just going to make the sounds in my head and not hold back,” says Cody Jasper. Now eight years since his self-titled debut, Jasper is writing from a more self-aware space, narrated by the new single “Who You Are,” a rock ballad courting unconditional love.

“I’m saying, I just love you for who you are, behind all the glitz and the glam, the struggles, and the strides,” says Jasper. “Who we are as individuals should be enough, we don’t need anything else.”

Recording 30 new songs since the pandemic, “Who You Are” is also part of an upcoming EP, released later in 2022, one that Jasper, who has already tapped his outlaw country-rock, says has a ’70s vibe with soul, funk, and rock. Produced and mixed by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Darkness, The Dandy Warhols, The Front Bottoms) at The Bubble in Austin, Texas, “Who You Are” was a song Jasper wrote several years back but was “too wholesome” for what he was doing at the time. “Needless to say, I’m really glad I kept the song,” shares Jasper, who says he referenced Stevie Ray Vaugh, Elton John, ELO, and Queen on the track. 

Filled with his big chorus harmonies, a Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar solo, B3 organ, piano, and a Mellotron, Jasper along with Brandon Wolford of Lovely the Band filmed the video for “Who You Are” at  Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, Texas. “I like to call it glam rock with a southern drawl,” says Jasper. 

“Who You Are” is a paean of a man who’s found his place in love and life—Don’t you ever let the world put you under pressure / Baby, you don’t need to change a thing. “After stepping out on my own, I made a promise to stay true to myself,” shares Jasper. “I want to write about things that matter to me, or that I had real personal experience with—not only with the lyrics but with the composition and sounds. I let my guard down and allowed myself to go with whatever excited me, no rules.”

Beyond love, “Who You Are” also lends a universal message of self-awareness and acceptance. “I think sometimes everyone needs to hear that who they are is enough—whether you have a dream job, or you’re just getting by, whether you found your path or you’re still searching,” says Jasper. “And let us not forget how many social media followers you have. People, often in relationships, get caught up in the material /social world and compare themselves to others.”

Jasper adds, “The reality is that the genuine self is beautiful, deserving and what shines through at the end of the day, and in the case of this song it’s what I loved most about that person.” 

Photo: Brandon Wolford / NPM PR

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