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Meaning of the song ‘Fly’ by ‘Highly Suspect’

Released: 2019

“Fly” by Highly Suspect is an emotionally charged confessional anthem that grapples with issues of self-image, mental health, and the complexities of personal relationships. The lyrics are a raw exploration of how a man confronts these struggles, ultimately refusing to let them define him, and emphasizing his journey of resilience and self-empowerment.

Highly Suspect launches the song with a no-holds-barred self-reflection. “Don’t like the way that I look / I don’t like the way that I feel” sets the tone, illustrating an ongoing battle with self-esteem and personal identity, a conflict many can relate to. The lines, “I’ve thought about killing myself / I’ve thought about ending it all,” grapple with ideations of suicide, amplifying the profound internal struggles the vocalist battles.

Moving into the chorus, the repetition of “Dear Johnny, be honest / You can change if you want it,” is a direct, supportive mantra; a call for self-honesty and a recognition of personal potential for change. The use of the name ‘Johnny’ may be a reference to the front man himself, Johnny Stevens, grounding this song in autobiographical territory.

Touching on family relationships, “Got a brother I know that I don’t call enough” and “Got a father that raised me when shit got tough,” highlights the complex familial ties. It’s a reflection on communication barriers and acknowledges the challenges of familial support within the rock and roll lifestyle. The line about his mother, “Got a mother I ain’t seen in eighteen years,” is a glimpse of a deep-seated pain from an estranged relationship.

With the lines “I’m falling away / From everything that’s ever brought me down / I am the sound,” we see a shift in perspective, a radial decision to distance himself from negative influences and reclaim control of his narrative. “I am the sound” is a powerful assertion of individuality, perhaps an assertion of his identity as an artist and the cathartic role music plays in his life.

The ending sees a sense of relief, a catharsis of sorts, with, “I feel better already / Yeah / Think I just needed to get some shit off my chest,” underlining the therapeutic power of honesty and uninhibited self-expression. Additionally, by shouting out to places like Brooklyn and Venice Beach, and mentioning ‘Studio G’, ‘Pam the cat’, ‘Jolene the dog’, and ‘Eleven’, Highly Suspect highlights their connections to various people, places, and even pets, signifying a sense of community and belonging that underscores the comforting message of the song.

In conclusion, “Fly” by Highly Suspect is a blistering testament to facing life’s tribulations head-on and finding strength in raw honesty. Deeply personal yet universally relatable, it’s a reminder that it’s okay to wrestle with demons and that hope can be found even in the darkest of times.

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