Charlie Puth is ready to show his cards. The singer stopped by On Air With Ryan Seacrest on Tuesday, November 5, and admitted to Ryan Seacrest that he had a confession to make: he lied about the true meaning behind track “Mother.”
“I don’t really hide my cards too well,” Puth told Seacrest when he started to get visibly flustered. “I’m starting this promo tour off by telling what the song is actually about.”
In the track off his forthcoming third studio album, Puth’s fans assumed “Mother” was a fun, upbeat song about his ability to deceive his girlfriend's mom into believing he is more gentlemanly than he actually is.
“Every time I write a song — and rightfully so because it’s about very specific instances in my life — I tend to get linked to whoever its written about and I just wanted to, in my mind, calm it down and not have it be about that,” Puth explained, revealing that “Mother” is actually about a toxic and “very bummy relationship.”
“It kind of changed me as a personality,” Puth continued while talking about the relationship that inspired the track. “And from the outside point of view, maybe the mother’s point of view, everything was pristine and perfect, but really what was happening was tumultuous and I was hanging out with different people and I abandoned all my friends and it really changed me for awhile. ... The reason I didn’t want to bring this up originally at the very beginning stages of promoting this song is because I just wanted people to have fun and relate to it in their own way. But, as happy as this song is, as bright as this song is, it’s actually about a very interesting time in my life.”
Puth, who said his heart was racing while revealing the truth, concluded the track is really saying “if your mother knew it was actually the worst thing for both of us to be together” and that originally the track “just sounded so sad.”
“I knew what the true meaning of the song was and I didn’t want to show all my cards,” he added. “I hear it on the radio and I’m like, ‘If people only knew.’ … [But] I feel so much better … just saying the true sentiment behind it. … I [was] disappointed in myself because when everyone originally asked me about it … I was like, 'I just made it up about a time in high school!' [Like] 'It’s just supposed to be like in the movies, like all good! We’re sneaking out!' But I couldn’t go to bed [knowing I lied].”
To be fair, Puth added, the relationship wasn’t just one-sided either. “It wasn’t just me,” he said. “It was two people just beating each other up.”
Watch and listen back the three-part interview in the video and audio above to learn more and to hear Puth perform the original version of “Mother" live in-studio!