Sara Bareilles and Maroon 5 have been acquainted since before both acts were famous, and Sara toured with the band at the start of her career. But now she’s revealed that her very first hit, “Love Song,” contains a subtle shout-out to Adam Levine and company.
Speaking to Glamour, Sara says she wrote “Love Song” out of frustration, because her record company was reluctant to give her the green light to record her debut album, Little Voice. They told her to keep on writing songs, and to write with other people, which she calls “a disaster.”
“I felt invisible and unimportant and manipulated and all the things,” she tells Glamour. “But I knew — because I’m a smart person — that [the record company] didn’t have a song they felt they could go to radio with. So I shifted to the idea of a love song.”
“I even referenced Maroon 5 in the lyrics — those were people I knew very closely and was touring with,” she continues. “I made it so, so deeply specific to my experience.”
So what’s the reference? Well, Maroon 5’s very first single was “Harder to Breathe.” And in the first line of “Love Song,” Sara sings, “Head underwater and they tell me to breathe easy for a while/The breathing gets harder, even I know that.”
“I thought that they would be angry with me [for writing the song],” Sara says of her record company. But instead, they thought it was “amazing” — and the rest is history.
“It was a response to feeling invisible and knowing that I wasn’t going to be manipulated,” Sara says of “Love Song.” “This song was my little stubborn ‘f**k you’…but [it] ended up opening all these doors for me.”
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