“What I Am” is a song written by the vocalist Edie Brickell and guitarist Kenny Withrow and recorded by American alternative rock band Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. It was released on November 1, 1988as the lead single from their debut album, “Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars.” Edie Brickell & New Bohemians gained recognition for their unique blend of folk, rock, and alternative influences. Upon its release, “What I Am” received critical acclaim and achieved commercial success. The song reached the top of the Canada Top Singles Chart and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, introducing Edie Brickell & New Bohemians to a broader audience.
“What I Am” is characterized by its laid-back and catchy groove, driven by acoustic guitar and Edie Brickell’s distinctively soulful vocals. The song’s lyrics convey a message of self-acceptance and authenticity, emphasizing the importance of being true to oneself. “Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars,” the album that “What I Am” is from, also achieved critical and commercial success, further establishing Edie Brickell & New Bohemians as an influential band in the alternative rock scene of the late 1980s.
Edie Brickell’s distinctive voice and the band’s unique sound earned them a dedicated following and critical acclaim during their active years. Although Edie Brickell & New Bohemians underwent lineup changes and periods of inactivity, they reunited and continued to release music over the years, solidifying their place in the alternative rock genre. “What I Am” remains one of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians’ most well-known and enduring songs. Its laid-back vibe and memorable lyrics have made it a beloved track that resonates with listeners, making it a classic of the late ’80s alternative rock era.