This is the lead single from Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu's third album Light. However it was a last minute addition to the set. He explained to Billboard magazine that the record was finished over a year before its release, but touring duties and a change over at his record company led to the decision to put it on hold. Said Matisyahu: "A new president got hired at Epic Records - Amanda Ghost. She listened to it and wasn't really feeling the single. I went back in, met with a couple of producers, and made two more songs for the record." Those last sessions yielded the tracks "For You" and this song.
Matisyahu told Spinner UK: "It is an anthem of hope with a big beat, the kind of song that makes you bob your head and open your heart at the same time."
Matisyahu re-recorded this single with the additional vocals of Sengalese-American artist Akon. The new version was released as a single on February 23, 2010.
The song was used extensively as the theme song for NBC's Countdown to Vancouver Olympics campaign. The song continued to be used during NBC's Olympic broadcasts, from soundtracking montages to scoring bumpers. Matisyahu explained to MTV News that even though it wasn't written expressly for the games, the themes and goals of the track ended up applying perfectly. "I wanted to write a song that was an accessible global anthem for hope and peace," he told MTV News. "I don't know exactly how it came about, but somebody heard it and thought it would be a good fit."
Matisyahu explained to CMU his song writing process: "It varies, sometimes I have a melody or a beat that lays the foundation, sometimes someone plays me a track they've been working on, or sometimes I will sit with a guitar player and we will 'jam', for lack of a better word, then go back and listen to the recording and find a part we liked and use that to lay the groundwork for a song. The next step might be programming drums around it, then laying vocals, then having musicians play parts, then mix it, then play it live for several months on the road, at which point my taste in music may have changed, so we completely change the feel and vibe, then record it. My songs are pretty much always a work in progress, changing and evolving even after they've been recorded and released on a record."
Boy band Emblem3 performed the song during their first live show on on the second season of The X Factor USAand also covered it for their debut album, Nothing To Lose. Drew Chadwick of Emblem3 explained to Artist Direct what attracted him to the tune. "Well, Matisyahu is a huge inspiration of mine," he said, "because he's in the pop industry, but he's also a really spiritual dude. If you can make that work, be on a spiritual journey and still thrive in the pop industry, that's incredible. He's basically preaching about global warming and people coming together to each other's aid, which is what I want to do in my life and with my musical gift. That song is really inspiring. It's so positive, uplifting, and empowering. When we get to play it, it's magic at the shows."
Alon from Forest Hills, NyBruno Mars is also listed in credits for this song.
Alex from Ada, Ohi am doing this song for a project in history and it really is a comlicated song but i started listening to all of his music
Mark from Southern, Nh"'One Day' is the song I've been wanting to make since I started my career," Matisyahu told Spinner. "It is an anthem of hope with a big beat -- the kind of song that makes you bob your head and open your heart at the same time."