Two is a duo comprising vocalist Aja Volkman and producer Dan Epand, both former members of the rock trio Nico Vega. After Nico Vega disbanded in 2018, the pair formed Two. Volkman is also known as a wife of Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds.
Two recorded this fiery song for their debut EP Pull the Knife Out. It finds Volkman singing of summoning her inner strength to get through hard times.
In April 2018, Reynolds announced the end of his marriage to Volkman. They never actually divorced and Reynolds re-proposed to his wife at the end of 2019. The problems in her marriage and the thought of becoming a single mother to three small children served as inspiration for the song's lyrics.
When you're small
It's a good thing cause you don't need to prove anything at all
It's an opportunity to have humility and fall
Be a wallflower
Be a superpower
Be a ball of fierce
Waiting to explode
Volkman told American Songwriter
the bridge is her favorite part of the song. "It's about learning to cultivate confidence and power, but not needing to prove it to anyone," she explained. "Owning your energy and strength."
Epand already had the production mapped out when he went to Las Vegas for a writing session with Volkman. At the time it was going to be "this James Bond anthemic production," with horns "and a ton of elements." However, Volkman asked him to take out almost everything except the guitar riff. Then she penned the topline in around five minutes and laid down her vocals in one take. Afterwards they didn't change a thing and the vocals are exactly the same as from the writing session.
Dan Epand directed the visual, which is inspired by the divisions within America. "This video for 'Cage Fighter' is all emotion," he shared on social media. "For us it was a reflection of the anxieties, the antagonism, the fear, the judgment, and the anger that have torn at American society. And to capture ALL of it. At the same time, Aja and I know where we stand socially and politically, but the irony is everyone feels attacked. And judged. And misunderstood."
"Pointing the finger isn't working," he added. "So maybe spreading love and acknowledgment might be a better way of bringing people back together."