Who You Are

Album: Step Up 3D Soundtrack (2010)
Charted: 8
Play Video


  • This song by British singer-songwriter Jessie Cornish, who performs under the name of Jessie J, was used in the third installment of the Step Up series, Step Up 3D.
  • Cornish explained the song's meaning during an intimate show at The Sofitel's Stone Rose on November 2, 2010. She revealed, "I kind of lost myself. It's very personal. It's about being true to yourself. Don't lose yourself in any situation you're put in, and do the dew."
  • Cornish wrote this self-help ballad at the end of a lonely three-month trip to Los Angeles when she was 20. Having been shunted from studio to studio with various producers she was ready to pack it all in. She told The Independent December 10, 2010: "I'm very much someone that lives to be happy. It's not just about the parties and I know so-and-so – I'm not that girl. So I looked in the mirror and started to cry and said 'who am I?' Music is my therapy."
  • Jessie J wrote this song with Toby Gad and Shelly Peiken; Gad also produced the track. In a Songfacts interview with Peiken, she talked about the session: "Jessie knows what she wants, and she knew how she felt that day. Something really peculiar happened: When I opened up my journal to write that day, the first title that was listed of the things I might throw out for that session, was the title 'Who You Are,' but she threw it out first like she read my mind or my journal, so she ran with it.

    When you're writing with someone like Jessie and you have someone like Toby Gad on an acoustic guitar - and he is an incredible, emotional player who comes up with extremely tasty progressions and inversions and voicings - and you have someone like Jessie who knows what she wants to say and she's got ingredients and she's got words, you have to give them space. I threw a word in, a phrase in here and there, and I was certainly in the room and part of that energy, but I wasn't going to be as assertive with myself as I would be for an artist that wasn't really a writer but was in the room because they wanted their name on the song. So, she just put it out there and we helped decorate it - she's pretty amazing."
  • The song was included on Jessie's debut album Who You Are. She explained to The Sun why she chose this as her title track: "This song saved my life musically. The day before I wrote this song I was ready to give up music. It's amazing how three-and-a-half minutes of melody and lyrics can change your life and I'm so happy that not only has it saved my life but it's saving other people's. That's why my debut album is called Who You Are."
  • Jessie has a lyric from this song - "Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars" - tattooed on her hip. Unfortunately she wrote it out wrongly beforehand and the tattooist spelled "lose" as "loose."
  • The video shows Jessie sitting on a chair in front of the camera as if it was her mirror in a bedroom. She was forced to be immobile having ruptured several tendons in her foot during rehearsals for the Capital Radio Summertime Ball. As Jessie begins to sing the final bridge, water begins to drip in front of her face and she wipes a drop from under her eye, as if she was crying. The clip was inspired by the one for Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U."
  • The song's co-writer, Shelly Peiken, wanted to title this song "Blur Of The Stars" from the line, "Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars." She was outvoted.

Comments: 3

  • Lily from Disneylandhello i need a reflection piece on the song who you are. please can you make one thanks so much god bless you. :)
  • Audrey from Lawrance, MaI love u Jessie J. I'm another fan of yours. I love your songs just like Angie does a lot.
  • Ronny from London, United KingdomThis song is so true.we all stare at our reflection in the mirror and judge the littlest things. ive seen myself looking in the mirror looking for things to be wrong. it puts you down so much. you feel horrible with yourself. and this song really makes you feel like. yeah i can just be who i want, stop looking at every little detail complaining. As the song goes...be true to yourself. x
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Country Song Titles

Country Song TitlesFact or Fiction

Country songs with titles so bizarre they can't possibly be real... or can they?

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?Song Writing

A big list of musical marriages and family relations ranging from the simple to the truly dysfunctional.

Hawksley Workman

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

Lita Ford

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New Words

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.