Matthew West scored a recent No. 1 hit with “Truth Be Told,” from his 2020 Brand New album. The song, which West wrote, was born from his frustration of not being completely honest about his faith.
“It’s a song about honesty and authenticity, and how hard that is to find in our world today,” West tells Everything Nash. “But what inspired me to write it is how hard it is to find in my own life sometimes. That song is kind of like my autobiography in three minutes. It’s the story of a kid who grew up, his dad was a preacher, and so he grew up in church, and from a very young age, learned how to put on a show, put on a face and smile for the church. Smile for everybody, and make sure that they knew that the preacher’s kid was all right. Or, as the song says, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.'”
It wasn’t until West grew up and began his own career that he realized how flawed he felt, and knew other people likely felt the same.
“I grow up and I become a public figure, and I sing and I write books and I have a podcast and my voice is heard by a lot of people,” West reflects. “There’s a tendency once again to pretend, even if you’re struggling, because it’s not easy for anybody, let alone having a public platform to admit when you’re struggling in any area of your life. That really brings about kind of this nagging feeling in your life that you’re living something less than an authentic version of who you are.
“I just wrote that song as a way of breaking free from that, and just going, ‘What if I’ve gotten it wrong? What if the world doesn’t want to see the polished version of my story, but instead the actual version of my story that by no means has all the right answers at all the right times?’ And so, I wrote the song in the hopes that it might set somebody else free to admit, ‘Hey man, I’m going through something and I’m tired of hiding it,’ or ‘I’m battling with some anxiety or depression,’ or whatever it might be.
“And the coolest things have happened as a result of that song coming out is somebody saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got a drug problem, and I really need to get some help,’ or ‘Hey, my marriage is in trouble, and we’re going to start going to counseling,'” he adds. “That’s the good stuff. I’ve discovered that life gets good when you stop trying to pretend that it’s good all the time.”
“I have been a fan of Matthew for years and loved this song the second I heard it,” Pearce told The Christian Beat. “When he asked me to be on the song with him, I instantly jumped at the opportunity. I didn’t have to think twice! The lyrics feel like such an anthem for my life over the last year and I’m really blessed to have been able to team up with Matthew on this song.”
Find all of West’s music by visiting MatthewWest.com.