Cinematic, alt-pop duo Apollo LTD exclusively premieres its inspiring and unifying new video, “You,” on American Songwriter before it releases this Friday (July 10th).
Releasing in this season of race relations protests and quarantine, when togetherness is difficult, the song is about reaffirming that humans have inherent value regardless of circumstances.
The song is the first single from the duo’s upcoming, full-length debut album slated to release this fall. It follows the duo’s widely acclaimed Out of Body EP that sparked hits like “Gold,” “On The Way Up,” “Heaven,” “Tired of LA” and of course, “One In A Million.” These songs have been heard on outlets like Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 and shows featured on ESPN, FOX Sports, Comedy Central, NBC and ABC while gathering over 10 million streams.
Jordan Phillips and Adam Stark, two longtime friends who make up Apollo LTD, share the common goal to write honest songs that unite, turning the challenges that all humans face into reasons to band together. This goal is especially embodied in the song “You.”
“We all share the same needs and desires,” perceives Phillips. “It doesn’t matter where we were born nor the color of our skin, our lives have meaning and value. And as we experience this second wave of COVID-19, people are worried about getting sick and dying. A lot of us were struggling before all this, and 2020 hasn’t helped our situations.”
“AA 12 Step and similar programs show how other peoples’ stories help you with your own stories,” adds Stark. “While in community, you are not alone in your struggles. There is hope in shared experiences.”
With this in mind, the duo’s “You” video intersperses the stories of four, racially diverse individuals sharing their honest struggles and hopes, lending weight to the uplifting message of the song delivered by Apollo LTD amidst a backdrop of piano, ethereal strings and a stomping drumbeat.
Whether dealing with thoughts of suicide, depression, insecurity, addiction, mental health, etc., “You” encourages listeners to not give up. “With ‘You,’ we’re saying, ‘You have value,’” says Stark. “The world needs the best version of you. It doesn’t need you to be a version of somebody else.”
“Every story, every scar/ You are loved the way you are/ There’s nothing you need to prove/ Cause heaven knows your name/ There’s a reason you were made/ Fearfully and wonderfully you.” — “You” Chorus
Continue reading for American Songwriter’s exclusive Q&A with Apollo LTD’s Jordan Phillips.
What drove the lyrical ideas for the song “You”?
As we were writing with a friend of ours, here in Nashville, we were in conversation about our families and loved ones that had been struggling. It quickly snowballed into a conversation about ourselves and our own lives. We knew that if we have wrestled with the lies that anxiety and depression tell us, then there are plenty of others who have struggled too. We wrote this song because it was a song we needed to hear. To remind ourselves that we are loveable. It’s a song about inalienable worth and inherent value. Being loved for who we are not the person we long to be.
Having lived with anxiety we have both recognized how social media has played a huge role in unhealthy patterns. When we live our lives via the highlight reel that is our Facebook and Instagram feeds, it’s easy to lose sight of our story and our journey. We spend so much time submerged in the abnormal stimulus of other people’s feed that comparison is constantly knocking at the door. Just waiting to come in and steal joy.
All of these things were talked about in the process of writing this song.
How is it impacting listeners?
Well, we try not to indulge ourselves in delusions of grandeur but we hoped from the onset that it would resonate with listeners. We felt like the message was just specific enough to us for it to be universal. We have realized that oftentimes the most personal songs have the deepest impact. Elizabeth Gilbert once said that meaningful art “must be both surprising and inevitable.” We love that.
We hope that this song continues to remind people they aren’t alone. But also our hope during these times is for it to serve as a reminder that we are doing the best we can and that it frees us up from our own pain and self-doubt so we can see the beauty in others as well. For us to remember that we all share the same needs and desires to be loved. That we all have value and we are all here on Earth for a finite period of time with a very important story that only we can tell. Each one has a story and conversation to be had with the world. Our hope is that this song can be just a tiny reminder that the world needs them. And if a little empathy gets shared in the meantime, we consider it a win.
Watch the exclusive premiere of “You” below.