Thompson Square On Writing No. 1 Country Hit ‘If I Didn’t Have You’
Thompson Square have been having a good year. Weeks after their second Academy of Country Music Award win for Vocal Duo of the Year, their single “If I Didn’t Have You” soared to the top of the country charts.
Earlier this week, the track hit No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart and the Country Aircheck/USA Today chart. An accomplishment duo Keifer and Shawna Thompson are humbled by, the date it reached No. 1 holds extra meaning.
“Writing your first number one is an amazing goal to reach,” Shawna said in a press release. “Writing your first number one song inspired by the loss of your Dad and having it go number one on his birthday is a gift straight from heaven. We want to thank all of our fans and country radio for making this possible.”
Their fastest-rising song to date, “If I Didn’t Have You” has sold nearly 600,000 downloads to date. During an interview with Radio.com, Thompson Square told the story behind the heartfelt song.
“This song came from a really special place for us,” Keifer explained. “We were actually out on the road. Shawna had just lost her dad and one of our co-writers Paul [Jenkins] just lost his grandfather. Out of that therapy session came the title.”
He went on to explain that they knew the track was something special the moment they recorded it.
“Once we recorded it and came back and listened to it afterwards I was like, ‘Oh man, this has got to be the first single,’” he said. “We took it to the label and they fell in love with it.”
Shawna said the song just flowed out, while Keifer added that “the easiest songs to write are the ones you’ve experienced. If you’ve experienced it you already know what to say.” Though it’s a personal track, Thompson Square said “If I Didn’t Have You” takes on new meaning to every listener.
“It could be about your parents, your friends, about God,” Keifer said. “There’s not anybody in the world that doesn’t have at least something in their life that impacts them so much that where if it was gone tomorrow it’d be very difficult.”
The band takes their songwriting advice from Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter Tom T. Hall.
“He always says to write what you know so that’s what we try to do,” Shawna said. “It comes from the heart.”