This Shane McAnally, Nicolle Galyon and Ross Copperman penned song finds Keith Urban addressing the way 21st century society perceives women and issues surrounding sexual harassment.
When you hear somebody say somebody hits like a girl how does that hit you?
Is that such a bad thing?
When you hear a song that they play saying you run the world, Do you believe it?
Will you live to see it?
Speaking with Associated Press, Urban described the track as a "soul-gospel spiritual-manta."
The song was written just a few days after the early October 2017 publication of New York Times' expose on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's history of sexual harassment and abuse.
"The writers wrote this song on October 10, and I heard it the next day," Urban told Rolling Stone Country. "I got to hear it fresh out of the oven, and it was instant love for me."
"I know all three of [the writers], and I think, obviously, the tone of times right now was weighing on all of them, and compelled them to write this song," he added. "It affected me not just as a husband but also as a father of two young girls, and a son. I had a heart reaction - my first thought was that it was a gospel soul prayer mantra, all rolled into one."
When Urban first heard the demo, he had no idea the writers had drawn inspiration from the Weinstein sex scandal. Instead, he just thought it was a beautiful, empowering piece of music.
"When I heard the song I knew nothing about its back story, and I don't think that is needed for the song," he explained to US breakfast show Good Morning America. "The song for me was far more celebratory than anything else, so that's what really moved me."
The song features backing vocals from Keith Urban's wife Nicole Kidman. "She's on there, with Nicolle Galyon who also wrote the song," the singer said. "I thought it was nice and very personal to blend these girls into the song, because it just felt very right, that's what the song means to me."
Nicole Kidman does have form as a vocalist. In 2001 the actress and Robbie Williams recorded a version of "Somethin' Stupid
," which topped the UK singles chart. She also reached the UK top 30 the same year with "Come What May," another duet, this time with Ewan McGregor from the movie musical Moulin Rouge
Keith Urban debuted the song during the 2017 CMA Awards on November 8, 2017.
As a father to two daughters, Keith Urban immediately connected with the song and felt the need to record the track as soon as he heard it.
"Shane McAnally sang the demo, so it was already a guy's voice that I heard singing the song, and it just hit me. As a father of two daughters – six and nine – as a husband, as a son, it just resonated with me as just a beautiful, poignant prayer in a lot of ways too; a divinely timed piece that really needed to be put into the world," said Urban. "When I heard the song the day after it was written, it really moved me very strongly. My wife was listening at the same time, and she had the same feeling about the song. I just said I feel very strongly I want to record this song. Luckily, I was in the middle of making my record and we just went in the studio in my house and recorded it."
It was easy for Keith Urban to record Nicole Kidman's backing vocals. "I have a studio at my house and we were working at home," he explained to ABC Radio
. "I went upstairs, and she was home, and I said, 'Can you come down and sing these parts as well?' So she came down and sang, and we just blended her and Nicolle Galyon together on the exact same parts."
The song was the first to be released from Graffiti U
. The record's name is neither a song title nor a lyric on the disc - it's a phrase Urban invented.
"It is very personal expression," he told ABC Radio
. "It's art, it's graffiti. And the 'you' was the audience... the listener."
Urban added: "So it was Graffiti You, and then I thought, when I saw it written, 'Why don't I just go with the first letter of my last name, instead of the word you?' That's the inclusiveness of the experience."