Watch: Gay Singer Freddie Atlas Explores Finding Beauty in Uninspiring Places in “Something About You” Video

“It is about finding the beauty in a broken relationship,” says Atlas.

New York-based singer and songwriter Freddie Atlas makes a powerful debut with his pop power ballad "Something About You." Rooted in '80s stylized nostalgic pop, this song and its video are based upon his own experiences growing up part-Haitian in Montreal.

"I did draw from my personal experience, but I always try to think wider than my own self," Atlas explains. "It's important to have a universal message because in the end, we're kind of all the same."

The Moonlight-esque video for the song features two queer people of color struggling through complications of self-doubt and hate festering under their personalities.

"Having dealt with self-hate and recognizing that it is often at the root of anti-gay violence, I hope 'Something About You' inspires resilience and self-acceptance," says Atlas. NewNowNext chatted with Atlas about this resonant and socially relevant debut single, out today.

What was the inspiration for the song?

I actually wrote the song three years ago. It is about finding the beauty in a broken relationship. It's kind of that "I know it's not working. It's not working for me; it's not working for the other person, but there is still something that I'll carry with me moving on in my life." It's about finding the beauty in the uninspiring places.

The music video features two people of color in a turbulent, fraught relationship. How did you arrive at telling this story in this way?

My dream was always to use the visual part of my music as a canvas for social awareness and themes of social justice. Usually, the stories we see about LGBTQ, queer people, and anti-gay violence are often very white. I’m not blaming whiteness, but I want to bring visibility to and service for communities that are unheard and not well represented.

Your music has a somewhat '80s vibe to it. What drew you to modernizing this sound?

When I started writing, people retroactively said, "Oh, that sounds very '80s," or "Oh, that sounds very retro or vintage" in reference to the drums, piano, guitars, and the stadium atmosphere. When I was a child I loved the spaciousness of power ballads and rock ballads. That really influenced me, I'm sure.

Who would you label as your biggest musical influences?

I would say three people: Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and—this one is a little more unknown—Nobuo Uematsu, a composer of video game music. All of those artists influence me for different reasons. Mainly, it's because they tap into beautiful places for me.

Speaking about the universal messages of love and accepting love, what chords do you hope the song and music video for "Something About You" will hit in audiences?

For the song itself, it's always important to see the message underneath bad experiences. There's always a positive takeaway from bad events. For the video, it was important for me to showcase how hatred and violence stem from either self-hatred, trauma, or misery. The guy that ends up beating the other one has an identity crisis. Then, in the end, the one who is beaten says, “Go find yourself.” He tells him to go find his own love, his own identity, and his suffering.

Also, the "Love Bat" and the "Courage Jacket" are equivalents to Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. The victim finds the courage and bravery to defend himself, and—as a survivor—has the love to tell the other person, “You need love.” It's not just a, “Fuck you, go home.” It's more, “I see through your own human problems.”

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