Though singer-songwriter John Galea first released “Hero Within You” in 2018, the British pop pianist has since found new meaning in the song. Today he shares a live acoustic version of the track with an accompanying video via American Songwriter.
“When you strip the track back to it’s basics the song really comes alive,” Galea tells American Songwriter of the arrangement, which he initially wrote and performed alongside Hannah Long. “I literally wrote it on my piano at home and worked out the modulations to fit my voice and Hannah’s, so to record this acoustic version was very special.”
The video shows Galea delivering an impassioned performance at a grand piano. It’s a spare, greyscale production that Galea says was designed to highlight the song’s uplifting message.
“We wanted to keep the acoustic video and track simple and get the message of the song through,” explains Galea. “Especially now when people are looking for some hope and positivity via songs, radio, and TV because of the lockdown over the Coronavirus.”
For Galea, the song’s lyrics have a new resonance in the context of the current pandemic.
“The lyric ‘Don’t you give up when you’re feeling down’ [feels] very relevant now [in a way] I didn’t imagine when I wrote the song 2 years ago,” he says.
“Hero Within You” landed on Galea’s 2018 Christmas EP, Christmas Round the Piano, after he released it as a single earlier that year. He’s also shared two remixes of the track–the Club Junkies Radio Mix and the Club Junkies Club Mix. The latter transforms the piano pop tune into a dance floor-ready EDM banger.
“We knew we wanted a crossover dance version but what [Club Junkies] delivered has been so much more,” Galea told Vents of the edit. “It puts a completely different spin on the track whilst keeping the main elements of the track.”
Though Galea hasn’t churned out any club beats himself, he sees his music as drawing from a few distinct genres.
“My sound has developed over the years from electro to soul, but it has always been based around the piano, and soul music plays a huge part as well,” he said in a 2018 interview. “I’d say soul, piano-based, and pop is a good way of describing it now.”
Galea’s live acoustic video isn’t the first visual he’s released for the track either. Last week he dropped a video featuring himself and Hannah performing the number in a stunning, empty church. Directed by Paolo Benetazzo, it offers a more fleshed out version of the track and video.
Check out the song below.