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What Do You Want

by

Jerrod Niemann



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is a track from Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury, the debut major studio album from Country music artist Jerrod Niemann. Prior to signing with Sea Gayle Music, an imprint of Arista Nashville, Niemann had brought out two self-released sets.
In this song, Niemann asks an old flame why she keeps calling him. The singer told The Boot that penning the song proved therapeutic for him, and subsequently for others who have had the same experience. Said Niemann: "'What Do You Want,' I jokingly describe as the first song I ever wrote from my heart, not my liver. As a guy, loving Country music the way I do, everything I wanted to write I wanted it to be like my heroes and wanted their stamp of approval if they ever could have heard it. But I got the advice from a friend who's not even in the music industry, she just said, 'Do you think Willie [Nelson] and Waylon Jennings are traditional country?' I said, 'Of course.' She said, 'When they came out, they were progressive and edgy and changed music with "The Outlaws" album.' And it dawned on me that it was true. Why would I want to say something that's been said a million times? Those guys said it and that made me want to move to Nashville. Now it's our job to say something out there to show people why they should love country music. 'What Do You Want' was the first song I ever wrote with that state of mind, not caring what format it was, just literally writing something I needed to get out of my system. It was the first song that I ever posted on the Internet that had bitter and jaded songwriters, like myself, in Nashville calling me, saying, 'Where did this song come from?' Usually that doesn't happen."
The song was co-written by harmony singer and music video actress Rachel Bradshaw, who is the daughter of former NFL player Terry Bradshaw.
During an interview with Hit Country 100.5 KI, Niemann shared that he was inspired to write the song after his ex-girlfriend had moved back from a stint in India.
The song was written about Niemann's own experience with a former girlfriend. "There's three reasons they're calling you," he told CMT. "One, because you haven't filled your quota of begging for them back. Two, they're trying to make you jealous. Or three, they want to make sweet nothings with you in the middle of the night."
Jerrod Niemann
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