This was written by the Nashville songwriters Hailey Whitters, Adam Wright, Sophie Walker and Ivy Walker. For Whitters, who also wrote the Reckless
track "Low All Afternoon," it was her first big placement and got her songwriting career moving in the right direction - she co-wrote the Little Big Town track "Happy People
" the following year.
In a 2020 Songfacts interview with Whitters
, she talked about "The Real Thing." "It still feels relevant," she said. "I love that song, I love the second verse:We got cyber clouds and digital streams
Sometimes I gotta shut it down
I'm a big advocate of that. Maybe it's just my nature - I'm bad at technology, I'd rather be outside, and my personal preference is things that are real versus things that are fake or temporary.
I like songs that feel authentic. I like food that's coming from local sources versus manufactured. In today's day and age, I think our culture is driving us towards things that are fake and manufactured, and it might be a little old school, but I like scratching the surface a little bit and just finding things that are real and that I know are going to last."