Jelly Roll Details the Real-Life Stories That Inspired His Newest Single “I Am Not Okay”

Jelly Roll recently released his newest single, “I Am Not Okay,” soon after his hit “Halfway to Hell” became his fifth consecutive No. 1 country radio single. Now, he opened up about the personal meaning behind the lyrics of the new song, sharing that he’s been inspired write for his upcoming—currently untitled—new album.

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“I’m at gas stations and red carpets and I’m hearing life stories from people, really inspiring stories. I’ve never wrote more,” he told Taste of Country. Allegedly, he wrote more than 150 songs for the new album, such was the level of his inspiration.

“I Am Not Okay,” by its title alone, seems to be a song about suffering and pain. However, the lyrics are actually hopeful for the future, such as with the lines, I’m not okay, but it’s all gonna be all right / It’s not okay, but we’re all gonna be all right. Overall, the song laments the dark times that the speaker currently finds himself in, but rejoices in the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. It says, we may find ourselves in desperate times now, but there are happier moments ahead. We’re all gonna be all right.

[RELATED: Jelly Roll Balances Pain and Optimism in His New Track “I Am Not Okay”]

Jelly Roll Talks Writing “Save Me” During the Darkest Time of His Life

Jelly Roll is known for his emotionally charged songs which draw from his personal life, and this recent offering is no different. Similarly, the song “Save Me,” his collaboration with Lainey Wilson, also came from a dark time in his life.

“I was in one of the darkest places of my whole existence when I wrote this song,” he said. “I was in a very hopeless scenario.” Jelly began writing the song at the beginning of the pandemic, which was a time when many people were feeling the same way. The song has since inspired fans and lifted them up, and Jelly Roll continues that trend as he writes more and more music.

He recently fulfilled a lifelong dream as well, which will surely inspire him further, as he closed out Saturday of CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium. He shared with the audience that the juvenile detention center where he was incarcerated shares a parking lot with Nissan Stadium, and while it was a lifelong dream to play the stadium, he also wanted to make sure the kids at the detention center could hear them and know they weren’t alone.

Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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