Wrong Places

Album: Single release only (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • Songland was an American songwriting competition series on NBC that linked up-and-coming songwriters with leading producers and artists. H.E.R. was the musical guest on the April 27, 2020 episode of the show, where she sang this plaintive ballad co-written by the winner, Raquel Castro. The other writers include H.E.R. and the show's judges, Ryan Tedder, Shane McAnally and Ester Dean.
  • Raquel Castro first entered the limelight at age 7 when she played the daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's characters in the 2004 film Jersey Girl. Nine years later, she became a contestant on The Voice and reached the first round of the live shows. From there, Castro jumped into the world of songwriting.
  • Castro told American Songwriter that she started writing "Wrong Places" after moving to Los Angeles to escape a breakup. After about five months, Castro started developing a "love-hate relationship" with the city. She loved being surrounded by creative people, but hated the sense of loneliness she felt there.

    Castro started thinking about the line, "Looking for love in all the wrong places." She was going out with friends and having fun, but wasn't meeting anyone she could form a romantic attachment with. "I remember waking up each morning thinking that I was trying to find love but that setting just wasn't where I was going to find it," she explained. "I was in a vulnerable state and I was lonely. That's where 'Wrong Places' came from, writing down all those things I was feeling."
  • After Tedder was assigned to be Castro's mentor on Songland, he made a few minor chord substitutions and lyrical variations. Apart from that, he changed very little from Castro's original demo.
  • H.E.R appeared on Songland specifically looking for a new single to record. After hearing Castro sing "Wrong Places," she told her, "You hit everything on the mark." Once the judges chose the song as the winner, H.E.R. laid down her version, which her record company, RCA, released on April 27, 2020.
  • Want another vulnerable song inspired by the singer's love-and-hate relationship with Los Angeles? Check out Kelsea Ballerini's "LA."

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