Tiera Kennedy’s ‘Found It in You’ – Billboard

Tiera Kennedy found a unique angle for her first radio single: she broadcast it through a Cameron lens.

Kennedy co-wrote “Found It in You” with songwriter-producer Cameron Bedell, who is currently enjoying a run as co-writer of Jimmie Allen’s “Down Home.” But “Found It” also relies heavily on another Cameron, Kamren Kennedy, whom she married on October 2. The couple became an item in 2014 when she posted a picture on social media of a camera she wanted to buy. Kamren sent a direct message offering to train her in photography, and he became both her creative director and her man.

He was also the subject when she first wrote with Bedell to Liz Rose Music on January 28, 2019. “I started talking about my husband – he was just my boyfriend at the time,” she remembers. “But I started talking about all the things I love about him. We just started listing them and putting them into a song.

Explore

Explore

See the latest videos, graphics and news

See the latest videos, graphics and news

The theme may have been rooted in his personal life, but the name of the song resided in Bedell’s cellphone. “I had this title sitting in my notes – ‘Found in You,'” he recalled. “I wanted to write this song where it’s like, you know, ‘Everything I was looking for is over – the search is over. I found it.’ She’s immediately like, ‘Oh, my God, I love this. We have to do this. So it just happened very naturally.’

Bedell formed a progression consisting mostly of major chords, creating a cheerful backdrop for its upbeat message and blending of genres.

“She grew up with country music mostly – you know, she loves Dolly [Parton]Bedell says. “But innately, she has a pretty strong R&B sense for her music and her voice. She’s a perfect blend of country and old-school R&B. This is exactly where I thrive.

They began listing the positive traits of Tiera’s future husband on the first line, noting his willingness to listen, patience and encouragement. And the last line of the first verse – the chorus pattern – might be the song’s most important, acknowledging that “true good love is just hard to find”.

The chorus then shifted into another gear with two ascending groups of three notes—”III, found in…”—leading to “you,” the man she celebrates. The choir depicts him as the piece of the puzzle that completes it: a source of trust, happiness and security.

Remarkably, very little of “Found It in You” focuses on the physical. There’s no real reference to sex, no description of their visual being – other than an appreciation that he likes her whether she’s “all dressed up or leaving all my hair down”.

“He’s my best friend at the end of the day, and so it’s really not just about physical things for both of us,” Kennedy says. “I mean, we really love being together and I feel like we bring out the best in each other. I really wanted to show that in the song.

But avoiding tactile intimacy also allows “Found It in You” to serve a more universal purpose. “I’m obviously talking about a significant other, but my hope with this song was that people could listen to it, and it could be about a friend or anyone in their life,” she says. “I feel like everyone has that person in their life that kind of changed their world. And so I hope people think about that when they listen to him.

The song took another step forward when they recorded the beginnings of a demo at the end of their writing appointment. The chorus ran nine lines, repeating the title three times, but during one of the takes she extended it, singing “I found it in you” three more times at the end of the stanza.

“Working to get her to be a little more free with her voice, I was like, ‘You’re so good that the last thing I want you to do is be uptight. Like, I know that’s t’s the first time we’ve met, but you got it, girl, and you’re so good. So do your thing. Even if it’s too much,” Bedell recalled. “So after singing that first chorus, she just started doing it. It was kind of a mistake that turned into a nice little piece of gold.

After the coronavirus hit in 2020, they packed “Found It in You” along with several other songs for recording. Bedell shipped them to other musicians, who added their parts around Kennedy’s vocals one at a time and sent the tracks back digitally. She released this version independently in October 2020, and it helped draw attention around her.

Valory announced Kennedy’s signing on August 5, 2021, and the team decided to re-record several of his songs, including “Found It in You,” with producer Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Kane Brown). They held a follow-up session in September with a five-piece band — guitarists Ilya Toshinsky and Derek Wells, bassist Craig Young, drummer Aaron Sterling and keyboardist Charlie Judge — at the Sound Stage in Nashville. The sound quality itself was brighter, the band dynamics created more energy, and they took the spiky rhythm guitar from acoustic on the demo to electric on the master, adding a more muscular touch. But the changes were minor.

“The idea on something like this is not to throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater,” Huff says. “When they get to that point in their talks with a label, they like what [the artist is] Do. So changing it outright would be stupid. It’s not really exercise; it is to elevate it.

Paul Franklin layered a steel guitar over it to enhance the country part of the balance, though he also nodded to Kennedy’s R&B roots with a backline in the second verse that – after Huff did some EQ work – sounded like a gangsta rap synth line from an early 90s Dr. Dre production.

Kennedy redid her voice at Huff’s home studio and worked on background vocals with Bedell, although Melissa Fuller added additional vocals later. Huff also doubled the mandolin and some additional guitar parts, including a two-guitar switch in the down moments. He insisted that Bedell get first credit in their co-production deal.

“He’s a multi-faceted guy,” Huff says. “He and Tiera have a serious bond. That’s who she trusts. You tread lightly on these relationships.

Valory released “Found It in You” to country radio via PlayMPE on July 18. And Kennedy hopes it brings some optimism to the world, while also representing the positivity she receives from her two Camerons: her producer/co-writer and her husband/creative director.

“I still think about who I wrote the song to, even when I’m playing it live,” she says. “I want people to feel the happiness I felt with this song.”

Comments are closed.