"You ever hated yourself because you were gay? What about being black?" Scotty Grand's powerful new music video for "You Got Me" comes out swinging with the hard questions on self-love and acceptance.
Choreographed by Leo Moctezuma, "You Got Me" is a fiery yet vulnerable exploration of identity after being broken by a tumultuous relationship. The video features Scotty Grand belting his heart out while navigating a war between two dancers, a masked black man and a white woman. Grand told PRIDE that the nude dancers in the video represent two raw sides of himself, his masculinity and his femininity, but also his own internalized idea of what a black man should be vs. how he contorted and confirmed himself in white spaces. The two are united by the violinist, which represents the power music has in Grand's life.
The essence of the video is the war Grand felt brewing in himself. "At one point in my life I had to have a sit-down conversation with the young Scott and be like, 'Who are you? What do you want to be? You're a black man in America, but you go to an all-white school. You sing R&B, but you like country music. You're gay, but you flirt with girls. You got to figure out who you are.' It's me coming to terms with who I am, the good and the bad of myself. That is me."
The soulful vocals, vulnerability, and powerful imagery in "You Got Me" are visually and sonically stunning. Grand was inspired by "the greats" like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Babyface, and Elton John. And he actually grew up in New Orleans making music with another queer superstar.
"I grew up writing songs with Mr. Frank Ocean, and the whole time I did not know that he was bisexual or gay or identified with me at all," Grand recounts. The fourteen-year-olds wrote and produced music together in the early part of their lives, but Grand had no idea how Ocean's career would take off. "I remember having a moment, like 'Oh my god, is my friend a genius?' Seriously, we were fourteen, and I knew he was going to change something."
And now, it looks like it's Grand's turn to make his impact.
Watch the music video for "You Got Me" below, and check out the uncensored version in the YouTube video description. "You Got Me" will be released on A Songwriter's Right: Paragraph II, an album that is set to be released later this year. Grand's tour kicks off in Venice, CA, this Saturday, June 10.