Kyle Rae Harris has a powerful message for her young daughter on the poignant “Twenty Years From Now,” premiering exclusively on Billboard today (March 25).
Featured on her upcoming self-titled EP out March 29, the song serves as a prayer for her child. “You deserve nothing less than happiness/ And so do I/ Twenty years from now/ My prayer is that somehow/ You’ll forgive all my mistakes and be proud of the choice I made/ God I hope I’m still around/ Twenty years from now,” she sings alongside soaring instrumentation and tender vocals.
Harris lost her father to cancer months before she penned “Twenty Years From Now.” He was 54 at the time of his death, and the singer-songwriter had the realization that not everyone gets the opportunity to know their parents as adults.
“It scared me thinking that it was totally possible I could be gone before my daughter reaches that point,” she tells Billboard. “I want to meet my kid’s kids. Getting to the age your parents were when you were a child brings a whole lot of perspective."
Harris wrote the song with Jon Randall shortly after a road trip with her two-and-a-half year old daughter, Corbie. Driving from Tulsa to Nashville after a difficult visit with her daughter’s father, Harris recounted the trip in her head.
“I held my feelings together for most of the drive, but once I saw that little baby asleep in the backseat I pulled over and bawled my eyes out. I had no clue what I was doing, but I knew that I loved her fiercely, and prayed that one day she would come to her own conclusions about everything and see that I did the best that I knew how to,” Harris explains. “Jon Randall and I wrote the song shortly after I got back home from that trip. It was a pretty emotionally brutal writing/therapy session, and we were very careful to try not to shine a negative light on anyone while still telling my truth.”
She adds, “Parents are people. People make mistakes and being a parent is hard. I’m not always going to make the right choices, but I hope that when Corbie gets older she’ll see that they were all made with love and the best of intentions."
“Twenty Years From Now” is the last track on Harris’ forthcoming EP and she says it’s the most important song she’s ever written. The project chronicles the lessons she’s learned throughout her life and includes songs penned with Randall, Dave Berg, Bonnie Bishop and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Previously, Harris provided harmonies for Radney Foster, Mike Ryan and William Clark Green on their projects. Foster, meanwhile, praises her singing style.
"Kylie Rae Harris writes and sings with the conviction and soul that stops you dead in your tracks. That pleading to tell the truth you hear in her voice is as real as it gets. You can’t help but want to hear more," he raves.
Harris’ six-track EP is available on March 29 Torrez Music Group.
Get a first listen of "Twenty Years From Now" below.