I have those moments when I go onto Youtube for one thing, then blink and it’s three hours later and I’m still on Youtube. My niece and I call it falling down the Youtube Blackhole. It’s a fitting name because sometimes I spend hours literally clicking on one link after another. Sometimes you find the same old, same old—from Simon’s Cat to Sharkesha No! Other times you find videos that make you gasp and become a fan of the person for years.
I think—I don’t remember—but I think we went onto Youtube to find Solaris Knight and Genji videos. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, Solaris Knight is the Gold Knight from Power Rangers Mystic Force. He has this cat sidekick name Genji who is a riot! Then from there, we began clicking on videos from Taemin to BTS (Kpop bands) and soon for some strange reason, Russell Elliot popped up into my “We suggest this video” list. My niece and I looked at each other, shrugged and I clicked.
Let me say this – clicking on that link was the best decision I’ve made on Youtube thus far.
The video was the official music video for Russell Elliott’s Around. Lying beside each other, we watched the video. After it ended we remained silent for a breath before we both flailed and I clicked on the repeat icon. Again, we watched then a third time before we both looked at each other and chorused “how have we not heard about this guy before?” It was remarkable to us because first the song was beautiful and heartbreaking. There are very few singers who can break me apart and put me back together again in the length of one song—Sam Smith, Theo Tams (Canadian Idol and lead singer for Beyond the Mountain), Dan Talevski and Sinead O’Connor are a few—but somehow Russell grabbed me.
Forget for a second that this song is about LGBT love (I’ll be posting about LGBT love in music at some point over the coming weeks)—to be specific two men in love—we can all relate to the lyrics. It’s about one person who wants more, that person wants love he/she wants all of the other person. But the other person isn’t willing or is too afraid to give everything. Gay, straight, bisexual, two spirited, trans—whatever—we all know this feeling. The feeling of wanting so desperately to make someone love you and though they do, they just can’t or won’t love you enough.
We can all relate.
Let’s go back to the LGBT of this video – There are some videos you watch and you think “um, could they get anymore cliché?” This isn’t one of those. There is a simplistic perfection to the video that will make you marvel at the talented people who worked behind the scenes. You can tell they put their heart into it and that is something I, as a fan, appreciate. It’s not perfect but there is tons of heart.
Now add the way the video was filmed and the concept. I have a thing for men who can dance but this was so much more than that. Every movement seemed to have meant something, every breath had feeling—every lift, touch, turn—all of it contributed to beautifully sung lyrics that forced my niece and me to sit in stunned silence.
I think we watched that video about five times that night before we were able to silently close Youtube and walk away. It was like we knew that we would find nothing else—nothing better for the rest of that night to watch. Nothing would come close to the feeling of witnessing such talent and raw emotion.
Listen, you don’t have to take my word for it—you can go to Youtube and check Elliot out for yourself. Me, personally, I signed up for Spotify just for him and I am not disappointed. With songs like Sleeping Dogs and Last Time, trust me, you will have plenty to listen to and the feels will get you every time. Don’t just listen to the song and the beat, pay attention to the lyrics—at the end I’m certain you will see that Russell Elliott is the truth.
You can find him here.