Hold Us Together

Album: Safety (Original Soundtrack) (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • H.E.R. recorded "Hold Us Together" for the soundtrack of the 2020 Disney biographical sports drama movie Safety. The film tells the real-life story of Clemson University football player Ray McElrathbey taking custody of his 11-year-old brother, Fahmarr, after his mother goes into drug rehab.
  • The vulnerable song has two parallel meanings:

    You're the keeper, protector
    It is you that holds us together


    H.E.R. is singing from the perspective of Fahmarr speaking to his older brother. He trusts Ray to protect and look after him.

    Even in the darkness, you will be my light
    Even when I'm hopeless, you will be my guide


    H.E.R. is singing to God. She recognizes the Almighty as her "light," "guide," "keeper" and "protector" that "holds us together." Some lines read like one of David's Psalms.
  • Nigeria-born and New York City-based songwriter Josiah Bassey penned the song. Bassey comes from a Christian background, which throws light on the track's religious parallels.
  • Bassey wrote the song at the beginning of the pandemic. He'd just fallen sick and was frightened he'd caught COVID. "I had to speak at my dad's church that Sunday and I didn't prepare anything," Bassey recalled. "I was up till around 4 a.m. and I almost went to sleep the song came to me. I literally wrote the whole song in 30 minutes. I sang it at the church zoom call right after."
  • R&B producer D' Mile helmed the track. He also produced H.E.R.'s Oscar-winning song that she recorded for Judas and the Black Messiah, "Fight For You."
  • H.E.R. recruited gospel star Tauren Wells to join her on the song's remix. Their version got nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song at the 64th Grammy Awards. "I wanted to bring a new life to the song, and brought Tauren Wells on," H.E.R. told Billboard. "That's a positive thing for me, and kind of what we've been going through in the pandemic."

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