Be Alright

Album: A Place We Knew (2018)
Charted: 11 23

Songfacts®:

  • Sydney, Australia native Dean Lewis was first inspired to pursue music as a career after watching a live Oasis DVD in 2005. He started out as a sound engineer, setting up live shows for other artists, but found the job disheartening - the would-be artist spent most his days watching others live out the dream while the music he uploaded to YouTube got little reaction. Eventually, a friend of his befriended a woman in music publishing and persuaded her to listen to Lewis' music. She was completely won over by the young singer's raw talent and he signed to Specific Music in 2014.

    At first, Lewis concentrated on songwriting for other artists, but he found it frustrating and unfulfilling. However, after signing a major contract with Island Records/Universal Music Australia in March 2016 he was sent to England to work with the British writer/producers Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway, who have worked with Gabrielle Aplin and Charlie Simpson. The first song they worked on was "Waves," which was released as his debut single on September 30, 2016. The track peaked at #12 on the Australian ARIA Chart.
  • "Be Alright" was released as the first taste of Lewis' debut album on June 29, 2018. The song became Lewis' first Australian chart-topper, spending four consecutive weeks at the summit. It also became Lewis' debut international hit, reaching charts worldwide.

    The sparse meditation on romantic heartbreak and moving past pain is another collaboration with Edd Holloway and Nick Atkinson. The song is written about a bunch of different relationships, some his and some concerning friends of the singer. Lewis explained in a press release that he "took little bits and pieces from each experience and combined them into one song."

    The singer added that after breaking up with one of his exes he drove straight to his brother's house. "He met me at the front door, handed me a glass of whiskey, and said 'It's over, put the phone away, it will be alright.' We had a drink and it just felt good to talk. For me this song is about hope and knowing that when you surround yourself with good people, things do work out."
  • The song's music video was shot in Mexico City and directed by Los Angeles-based, Australian director Jessie Hill (Sawyer Fredericks' "Please", Chris Cornell's "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart"). The clip co-stars Mexican actor Maria Evoli as Lewis' love interest.
  • Dean Lewis told Billboard he had to lay down "Be Alright" in three different countries before it fell into place. He first recorded it in Australia, but was unhappy with the chorus, so he crossed the Pacific to America to work with "a big name producer." However, that "was not a good experience. It was terrible."

    Lewis then decided to hook up with his "Waves" collaborators, Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway. They suggested taking the chorus up a key, and that proved to be the breakthrough he was looking for.
  • When country group Parmalee heard the song, they immediately thought it was right up their alley. "I think it's so relatable, through all aspects," they told The Boot. "You know, who hasn't gone through a bad breakup and had your buddy help you out? And I think when we heard it, my first thought was, 'That's a country song. That's a Parmalee song right there.'"

    The band decided to cover it for a single. Before recording the tune they needed to ask Lewis if it was OK to make some lyrics more "country." He'd sung, "I know you love her but it's over, mate." They changed it to, "I know you love her, man, but it's too late." Lewis agreed to the changes.

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