Despite sharing the title with 2005 movie The Cinderella Man, the song was not inspired by the Russell Crowe flick. At the time Shepherd was getting over the loss of his older brother who got stabbed in front of his mother. He explained; "I liked the film. But at the time, I was going through a hard time. My brother had just passed away.
It's a stadium feel, an anthem," Shepherd added about the song. "Like marching, marching towards something. The sound is big, the message is big on the record. It's about just coming from nothing, not doubting yourself. It sounds like you're marching towards a goal. The guitars are rifting, and it has little bells keeping it melodic. It's a strong record that's motivating. And Em did something motivating with it. I just wanted to have people feel like they're moving with the record, have a Rocky feel. It sounded more authentic to have people feel like they were stomping in the record."
Shepherd explained the chorus is meant to inspire. "The hook says, 'If I had a time machine, I'd be a Cinderella man/ Music is my time machine/ Call me Cinderella man,' " he said. "Basically, it's like, music can allow you to do all types of things. You can change the world with music. You can go back and enlighten and move people forward just with sounds and connection. Music is a time machine."