The last time we heard from the multiple award-winning artist H.E.R., she was adding her sweet, soulful vocals to NxWorries’ jam “Where I Go.” However, we haven’t heard from her on the solo tip since she dropped her album Back Of My Mind. She’s breaking her musical hiatus now, though, in order to lend her voice to ESPN’s NBA Playoffs campaign with her new song “The Journey.”
ESPN usually taps top-tier talent for their NBA Finals packages, and they’ve done it once again by enlisting H.E.R. and recruiting iconic songwriter Diane Warren to provide them with the soul-stirring number. Lyrically, the song hits all the inspirational notes that everyone comes to expect for these big ballads.
“It’s the journey / It’s the getting there to where you’re going to,” H.E.R. belts on the song’s larger-than-life chorus. “Going through hell but still you’re gonna make it through / It’s the fire that they can’t put out inside / It’s a hell of a ride.”
H.E.R. also provides the song’s production. She starts things with piano before fleshing things out with swelling strings by the first chorus. From there, the song picks up guitar and drums as the emotional song pushes toward its cathartic climax.
“The NBA regular season is one long journey, and then you get the NBA Playoffs, which is a journey of its own,” ESPN's vice president of production Tim Corrigan said of the collaboration with H.E.R. “All 16 teams have their own paths to accomplishing their goal of an NBA Championship. And, as the song says, ‘It’s a hell of a ride.’ We are honored that H.E.R. chose to team up with ESPN to help introduce this song to the world. It’s another great example of what we can do at the intersection of sports and music.”
“The Journey” won’t be the last we see or hear from H.E.R. in 2023. The singer will make her acting debut under her real name, Gabriela Wilson, as Squeak in the upcoming film adaptation of The Color Purple musical. As well, she’s also hard at work on her next album, though she says she’s taking her time with this one.
While we wait to harvest the fruits of H.E.R.’s labor, listen to “The Journey” when you press play below.