After recently launching a full-fledged solo career with his vulnerable debut single “Remedy,” WESLEY (Wesley Stromberg) is further proving that his new music will see the Emblem3 singer sharing his most personal stories to date. “Don’t Have to Say You’re Sorry,” a scorchingly sympathetic ballad that shares insight into the addiction within the 24-year-old’s own family, is premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Oct. 18).
The track opens with a phone recording from Stromberg’s actual sister, who shares how she “struggled intensely,” before Stromberg tenderly responds, “Brother, sister/You can always count on me when you’re falling down.” The track climaxes in an intense, electronic-leaning breakdown that gives the song a feeling of hopefulness and ends an adorable sign-off from his sister and her son, Stromberg’s nephew.
The single will be released in collaboration with non-profits To Write Love on Her Arms (dedicated to providing hope to those struggling with addiction, as well as depression, self-injury and suicide), and Shatterproof (which focuses on aiding devastation addiction causes families).
“I believe that those with addiction must feel enabled to forgive themselves and that we must always keep our doors open,” Stromberg tells Billboard. “I want my sister to know my door will always be open for her, and that she will always be loved. I’m incredibly grateful to TWLOHA and Shatterproof for their commitment to this extremely important message, and for working with me.”
Gary Mendell, the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, echoed a similar message in the power of music like this. “Thank you to WESLEY for helping reduce stigma by talking about opioid addiction in his new song,” he shares. “Shatterproof is committed to ending the stigma associated with the disease of addiction and is grateful to be partnering with WESLEY as a resource to his fans.”
“I had goosebumps within the first few seconds of hearing this song and immediately shared it with our team,” adds Jessica Haley, the co-executive director at To Write Love on Her Arms. “We’re so grateful that Wesley reached out to us, but even more so that he is sharing this powerful message with the world. The song is honest and raw. We are honored to collaborate with Wesley to help more people find hope and connect with the help they need and deserve.”
Look out for “Don’t Have to Say You’re Sorry” to hit streaming services at midnight tonight, as well as for WESLEY to tour South and Latin America early next year with MacKenzie Bourg.
Get a first listen of “Don’t Have to Say You’re Sorry” below.