“Love Me Back” is the newest single from Josh Lumsden, an up-and-coming musical artist based in New York City.
The music video, which was directed by Mikey Harmon, showcases Lumsden in a vibrant, futuristic, and sci-fi inspired setting with embedded narratives of love and loneliness that tie directly into the track’s lyrics. Lumsden and Harmon first met in the underground NYC nightlife and have been looking for a chance to collaborate, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused several delays.
Instinct caught up with Lumsden to talk more about “Love Me Back,” debuting his first official music video, how the entire team who worked on the video is part of the LGBTQ umbrella, and upcoming projects, which includes more visual media and a possible EP.
Hi, Josh! Thank you for taking some time to chat with me about the music video for your single “Love Me Back.” How excited are you to release this project into the world?
I am extremely excited! I have been making music for a long time, and this is one of the first videos where it feels like it matches the music I have been making. A little background about me, I kind of write and produce all the music myself, but I don’t really have the skill set when it comes to directing music videos. So, when I met with the director, his name is Mikey Harmon, he loved the song and he really wanted to do a music video for it. He has such great creative direction, and once it finally all came together, the video matched the music and it felt so right. I am just so excited to finally release visual media when it comes to a song that I made.
Can you tell us more about the concept behind the song and video?
It is kind of like R&B, but upbeat R&B. However, the lyrics are not upbeat, if that makes sense. I explore concepts of loneliness and wanting a person to basically love me back, as simple as that sounds. That is basically the general meaning behind the song, so it is nothing too fancy. Just going through the motions of how one feels when it comes to loneliness, loss, and things like that. A general heartbreak song.
Were you experiencing loneliness and heartbreak when you wrote the song? Is that what inspired you?
You know, that’s the thing. Not really [laughs]. My partner and I have been together for almost eight or nine years. It kind of gets old when you keep running about the same old love songs over and over again, so I wanted to change that. Change the narrative. A lot of people who know us personally, they’re like, ‘oh, what’s going on with your relationship?’ I’m like, oh, nothing. I am just writing about something new.
Will “Love Me Back” be on an upcoming EP or album?
I have not officially decided yet. I used to not like the idea of doing a formal body of work, and I would just drop song by song. I am in a different space right now where I feel like this would be a great start for an EP, even if it’s just four or five songs. That may be my next step, especially following up with this video.
What do you hope listeners take away from the song?
A lot of people write music for self-expression purposes, and I just hope people think it’s a great song and they want to listen to it over and over again. Even if they are not extremely attached to the lyrics or anything, I just want people to think overall, not only lyrics, but songwriting, production style, and everything that involves every aspect of the song, I hope they just enjoy it and want to constantly listen to it. That is the ultimate goal for me.
The entire team involved with the music video is a part of the LGBTQ umbrella. What that a deliberate choice on your end?
That is kind of the thing when you are in New York and part of the underground New York club scene. You meet so many creatives in this scene, and it feels like a giant LGBTQ family. That’s just how it is, and it feels so right. The fact that we are all on the same page, that’s made the experience even more special. Just the fact that we all understood the same type of message behind the song.
What have you learned the most by creating this music video?
Even though we were on set for, like, 12 hours at a time, I never really got tired or worn out. This is kind of like my first solo video, and I immediately knew that I need to do 20 more of these. I was not tired, but I was completely motivated.
Have you always had a passion for singing and songwriting?
Yes. It’s a funny story because I have been singing since I was a little kid. My mom always says, before I even knew how to make sentences, I was singing. She had all these home VHS tapes of me singing The Little Mermaid and things like that, but the thing is, I was always trying to do content creation back then too, so I would film over the tapes with these random videos of me. She will never forgive me for that, and I can’t even forgive myself for that, but that kind of goes to show that I have been doing this for a long time now. Especially when it comes to producing music and singing. I started to seriously produce and write music when I was 12 years old, but now it is really starting to become my career.
Can you talk more about your musical aesthetic?
When it comes to genres, I like pop and R&B, and I kind of go in between. I am not the first person to do this, and I won’t be the last person, but I definitely like to challenge gender norms and things like that. Before me, the greats like David Bowie and Freddie Mercury were doing that, and many modern people are doing that as well. Those are things that I definitely keep in mind, and I am a huge fan of Lady Gaga, obviously. She is one of the greatest in my opinion, and I am also inspired by Ariana Grande and Mariah Carey. They are huge vocal inspirations. When it comes to my personal aesthetic, I try to go for an edgy pop, edgy R&B look.
What are some goals you would like to achieve as a musical artist?
This video for “Love Me Back” is such an accomplishment for me, but I want every video going forward to be bigger and better. I just want to keep improving myself, and I would love to do a live tour one day. Maybe starting in the New York City area and branching out to the surrounding areas. Just taking it step by step from there. I want to continue to grow as an artist and see where it goes.
Do you also do work as a filmmaker?
[Laughs] If you Google me, the first thing that pops up is filmmaker, but I don’t do any of that. There must be another person who is a filmmaker with my name. I have literally emailed Google saying that’s not me, but have not received a response.
Maybe that is something you can pursue later.
Maybe! I mean, it’s already there!
What are some of your other passions and interests besides music?
Anything related to the fine arts. I like to draw. While growing up and in school, I was very passionate about doing art, but I kind of lost touch with it. Most of my passion now lies with music, and even photography. Like, the photographs that I put on my Instagram are under my direction and things like that. My partner holds the camera and takes the pictures, but I will do the coloring, editing, and things like that. Music is the main thing, but if I would pursue anything else, it would be photography or drawing.
Before we wrap up, are there any other upcoming projects or anything else you would like to mention or plug?
I wish I could tell you, but right now, I am just focused on my music video and making sure it gets the proper debut that it can. However, I am working on new music and already starting to plan another video. So, keep an eye out!