Heather Youmans has never been afraid to show different sides of herself. She makes music, acts, tap dances, has done voice-overs, she’s been on TV (I Can See Your Voice, American Idol), she has appeared in live theatre, and more. On top of it all, she manages her own career. Her latest single, “Worth It” (2021), showcases her versatility once again, and also her courage to be vulnerable.
The vocals in “Worth It” are full of emotion, and there’s a reason to it. The lyrics, which speak about the imperfections of love, were inspired by her marriage (her husband is even featured in the music video). It also gathers inspiration from a line from Eric Roth’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenplay: “For what it’s worth: it’s never too late, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be.”
“My husband and I got married young, and we’ve had our bumps, but we learned how to grow together,” Youmans tells PopMatters. The singer-songwriter describes herself as a “pretty private person”, even though she’s been used to the spotlight all her life. “It’s both scary and exhilarating to put out my most honest music yet, especially something that’s so raw, unfiltered, and emotional.”
The rawness is felt in “Worth It” in how it addresses the baggage that each partner brings to a relationship (“Loving you’s fixing broken magnets with glue / Cause I’ve been bruised, broken, damaged”). But it also ends on a positive note: “I’ll be here for the best and worst of this / ‘Cause honey you’re worth it”.
Another angle of “Worth It” that is worth looking into is Youmans’ versatility. In the past, she’s released mostly pop-rock songs, such as “A little closer to happy” (2021). “Worth It”, however, is a country-pop ballad.
Youmans tells PopMatters that the song was originally a piano ballad. After the demo was shown to Tennessee producer David Francisco, they turned it into a guitar-driven track inspired by country singers like Martina McBride and Faith Hill.
Even after the song took shape as it is heard today, Youmans says she hesitated to put it out. “I almost opted to sell the song to another country artist, because I wasn’t sure I was ready to show myself and my relationship at its darkest point to the rest of the world.” Like the song itself says, she’s willing to take a risk when she knows it’s “worth it”.