Last weekend at Comic Con in San Diego, I got a chance to talk to Rebecca Sugar, creator of Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe. I knew this was my chance to ask her about the newly released soundtrack and the mysterious end credit song, “Love Like You.”
Q: What is the song “Love Like You” about? Is it from the perspective of a gem, or just a nice one-off credit song?
Rebecca Sugar: Oh, “Love Like You” is so unusual. Um, it started as a song from the point of view of, sort of, all gems. Um, and just sort of a thesis of the entire show kind of towards Steven. But also, kind of me towards my own brother, Steven.
Um, and what’s so strange about it, is that because it was the credits, we wrote it in pieces. So, I wrote the lyrics to that song over like, three years. In little pieces. And when I started it I thought, “Oh, you know, this is about — this is about an alien that’s looking at a — that’s looking at a human being who loves them.”
And sort of the secret meaning of this is that they have — they don’t have the capacity to feel this way because they’re an alien. And then — by the middle of it I was deep into the show, and going through a real crisis of confidence. And so that was coming from a different place, from a very real place where I was just like, “Why are people looking to me?” Like this is, you know, it’s not right. And these people were coming out of the woodwork to sort of thank me for the show. People who were — um, you know, who had been able to speak to their families in these wonderful new ways. People who had become comfortable in themselves in these incredible ways. That I hadn’t been able to do. Where I was just like, “I’m so inspired by everyone, why are they thanking me?” And so the middle of the song I was sort of in that place.
And then when we finished it, about a year later, I realized that the beginning was not what I thought it was about, at all. It’s not a silly, secret meaning about an alien that doesn’t understand humans. It’s about the fact that I had always loved my brother, and had these people who would love me unconditionally in my life, and because of my insecurity I was never able to be there a hundred percent for them. And I realized that this is actually maybe one of the most human things I had ever written and I had written it by accident. So, I got to conclude it — it was, um, seriously a song written over three years.
So there you have it, “Love Like You” is a deeply personal song for Rebecca. You can listen to the song below!