Behind the Song: Kryptonite
I wrote Kryptonite with Heather Jeanette Miley and Mike Krompass. The concept came from a phone conversation with Mike on my ride home from the studio late one night, after a session. We were continuing our discussion about life and relationships, and I mentioned a situation that represented my exception. I referred to it as my “Kryptonite” and he said, “that’s a good song title, we should write something to that.” I agreed, continued on my way home, and fell asleep thinking about that exception.
Since the concept was in place, along with some conceptual melodies and chords, we asked Heather Jeanette to join us in songwriting. At that point, we had already written a few songs for the album together and we had a good flow. I love Heather’s voice, her vibe, her musicianship, and her melodies. She and Mike also have good chemistry, so it makes the session really fun.
The first session on this song was intense, as if we all had something in mind that was our “Kryptonite,” and it made us all a little edgy. The lyrics didn’t come immediately for us, but sometimes that can make the best song. Heather and I had what we thought we liked, and then Mike challenged us on a few lyrics and then we rewrote. It reminds me of a quote by R.C. Bannon, “Great songs aren’t written, they’re rewritten.”
This song wasn’t a total rewrite, but we went round and round on lyrics, and changed strings, drums, programming, piano, added guitar and more through the series of sessions. I remember leaving the studio irritated after our first lyric writing session. I attributed my aggression to the fact that I had just sang, “how did I lose all my power,” thirty thousand times, and realized that wasn’t the best affirmation….but those words were truly how I felt in the situation I was singing about, and that is what makes good songs, great – honesty.
The next writing session was short and we finalized the lyrics easily. A guide vocal was laid down and I left the studio feeling excited about the song. We worked on the track before adding my lead vocal. I had anxiety about singing this song initially because it is the kind of song that makes you want to scream and cry. Truly! Kryptonite is the type of song I usually cry to, when I need to get out my sadness. I like to sing these types of songs really loud in the shower or while speeding in my car. The teenager in me is still alive and well. But singing these types of songs in the studio is intense because it requires you to NOT cry and to use all of that emotion by simply singing it. Thankfully, when it came time to sing the lead vocal, I was ready. It was a good vocal session for me, with a few takes and we finished it pretty fast.
After we mixed this song, we decided it needed to be the first single for the album. No matter where you are in life, there are people or things we let in, that take over. We all have the capacity to become vulnerable, powerless, defeated, and fragile. Sometimes we allow this to happen, and sometimes we don’t know we’ve allowed it to happen until it’s actually f*&^ing happening. To me, this song represents an acknowledgement of the past and at the same time, a return to having my power back. I’m grateful to my collaborators and to Mike for making this song with me.
As a songwriter, I am happy to have Kryptonite out there in the world, helping us all acknowledge where we are, where we’ve been, and how we can regain our power.
Kryptonite by Zuri
It’s all so perfectly wrong
You aren’t the one I should give my love to
I let you in where it counts
Guess I just can’t help myself
When every battle is over
You are the one with the badge of honor
It’s like I’m under a spell
But the truth is the war is with myself
I wish I could go, how did I lose all my power,
I get weak as my feelings grow stronger for you are my kryptonite
Letting go, just really isn’t that easy, in love with my worst enemy oh
I can’t fight my Kryptonite
I try to find my way out
Rehearsing how I can tell you goodbye
Just when I got it all down
You pull me back in one more time
Ya you pull me back in every time
I want to go, I want to stay,
I want you close and far away,
I want to love, don’t want to hate,
My kryptonite, my best mistake