Shayne Ward’s ‘Closer’ Track “The Way You Were”: Producer Mike Stock Explains The Making Of The Song

Shayne Ward's New Video
Watch the drama unfold in "My Heart Would Take You Back."

Shayne Ward is looking handsome as ever in the video for “My Heart Would Take You Back,” the first preview of his upcoming album Closer (out April 12). But while that Philly soul-leaning ballad perfectly lends itself to being a showcase for Shayne’s smooth vocals, there’s another track tucked away on his upcoming album that feels like a smash in waiting: “The Way You Were.”

A minute-and-a-half clip of soaring track “The Way You Were” was recently made available online, and during a recent interview Idolator conducted with both Ward and producer Mike Stock (which we’ll post soon — stay tuned!), we couldn’t help but ask about what’s become an early favorite off Closer.

Mike Stock explained that when he and Shayne were in a room together writing songs for the album, Ward would be thinking in terms of a possible future music video.

“We’ve already got the video in our heads for [‘The Way You Were’],” Stock says. “We know exactly what we want to do with it. Shayne even drew it on paper as we were working out lyrics — he was doodling the shots to camera and the idea for the video!”

“The Way You Were” is an energetic track that builds from a simple piano intro with Shayne’s vocals to a full-on pop rush by the chorus. It’s one of the more upbeat moments on Closer, a musical comeback project of sorts for Ward that contains everything from pop ballads to soulful, Motown-esque throwbacks.

“The style of the song, I think we were looking at taking some influences from what’s going around at the moment — some sort of clubbier records that are there,” Stock explains. “There’s OneRepublic, there’s Calvin Harris and there are a few other things. You know, we didn’t want to make an album that was irrelevant to the modern world, but I think most of these artists to do with modernity are short on content and high on style. So, I’ve always [felt] if I’m going to go for style in a song, it ought to have some content as well.”

And, there’s good news for people like yours truly, who are hoping “The Way You Were” gets a proper single release.

“We don’t call ‘My Heart Would Take You Back’ the single; we call it the lead track,” laughs Stock. “There’s a difference. It sort of leads the promotion. Back in the day, of course, you’d pick a single and there was no messing about. You’d just call it the single. I think ‘The Way You Were’ could eventually turn out to be one, as well.”

Stay tuned for our joint interview with both Shayne and Mike, coming next week!

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.