If you’ve heard Nate Smith‘s latest single, “World on Fire,” you’d probably think it was inspired by a heart-wrenching breakup.

While that’s partially true, its genesis runs deeper and on a more personal level. “World on Fire” was actually inspired by the 2018 wildfire that happened in Nate’s hometown of Paradise, California.

“There’s definitely nuggets in there about not recognizing the place that you used to go,” Nate tells ABC Audio. “Because when we had the wildfire in Paradise, going back up there, I would drive on streets that I used to drive and I didn’t recognize where I was because you lost all the landmarks and stuff like that. So there [are] nods to that in the song.”

That said, “World on Fire” is still rooted in the storyline of an aching romantic split.

“It’s also a song about a breakup and how sometimes when you break up with somebody, it’s like it ruined your favorite bar,” Nate explains. “Like, ‘Girl, you set my whole world on fire. You could have just burned down my house, but you had to do the whole thing,’ you know? And that’s what the song’s about right there.” 

“World on Fire” is currently #17 and ascending the country charts. The track is the second single off Nate’s self-titled debut album and follows the chart-topping lead single, “Whiskey on You.”

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