Ride To California

Album: Paper Tongues (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • Paper Tongues are a North Carolina seven piece comprising vocalist Aswan North, plus Devin Forbes, Cody Blackler, Joey Signa, Clayton Simon, Jordan Hardee and Danny Santell. According to press materials they embrace, "elements of rock, funk, rap and soul, these seven individuals have created something you haven't before. It's music for dancing, crying, loving and living." This is the title track from their debut EP.
  • The success of this song is the culmination of North's relationship with producer Brian West (Nelly Furtado, K'Naan), who picked up on Paper Tongues from MySpace demos and invited the band to Los Angeles at the end of 2006. "It was something I freestyled in the studio with (West)," recalled North to Billboard magazine: "We were working on a different song, and I said, 'This beat goes with a rhythm I've got vocally' and a melody that makes me sound like an auctioneer, and I started doing it, and he flips out! He puts his hands on his forehead... and says, 'You don't understand what the hell you just did.' I'm like, 'What'd I do?' 'You just gave us an f-ing hit!'"
  • Keyboardist Cody Blackler told Artist Direct the story behind this song: "Aswan was in a car driving from one city to another when he wrote that. He was getting ready to record. We were just a bunch of poor kids from North Carolina, and it takes a lot of money to make a record and actually make an impact with it. He basically wrote the song from a place of wanting to make this record, not having money and not having the things you needed. Basically, the community around us just started chipping in dollars here and there, and it was out of that place of wanting to follow a dream, believing in it and going after it. Even though it's an upbeat, lively song, it really does have a lot of meaning. It's basically about the story of some country kids going after a dream."
  • Guitarist Devin Forbes explained to MTV News how the band came up with their name: "It honestly started off as two names in a hat. We couldn't come up with anything at all, so we just wrote down words that sounded good phonetically, pulled them out, mixed everything around and came up with Paper Tongues."

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