Meet LEADR, a human, just like you.
LEADR is the artist moniker for Vietnamese-American singer, songwriter and producer Alexander Tang. Tang launched their music career in 2018 with the debut single “Waves,” which is pulsating, euphoric, therapeutic, nostalgic and cleansing all at once.
Three years after their impressive debut, the LA-based talent has positioned themself as one-to-watch within the indie queer-pop music scene — and beyond. Tang has already been featured on Billboard and Vogue Brazil. Not only that, but their 2020 releases “Gaia” and “3am” garnering thousands of streams on Spotify.
“Hi, I’m Human” is LEADR’s first offering of the new year — and the song feels especially different from the very first play. That’s not only due to the gorgeous production, but for its timely message of choosing empathy over division and love over hate.
“No, that’s not right/ What’s been happening in your life/ You should really change your mind right now/ Go, find your soul/ You can never be too old/ To be a light in this dark world/ Somehow…” LEADR declares in the song’s opening lines.
From the jump, “Hi, I’m Human” lays out an intentionally direct and emotive response to abuse and hate, all while sharing a truly personal piece of LEADR’s story.
“This is my love letter to all the bullies that hurt me in the past. I’m human, I’m just like you. We are all the same,” LEADR told In The Know. “I want anyone who listens to my song or watches the video to come away with the understanding that we all need to practice empathy — even to those who would harm us with their words. Forgiveness is a way of letting go of the pain someone else has inflicted on us. It’s the best way to heal our own wounds.”
The chorus of “Hi, I’m Human” hits especially strongly amid a long-overdue global reckoning in the name of racial justice and a wave of increased violence against the Asian American community.
“Hi, I’m human, I’m just like you (I’m just like you),” LEADR chants. “You, you, I’m just like you (I’m just like you).”
The song comes paired with a very striking video, which premieres exclusively here on In The Know, that pushes forward its much-needed message. The video, directed by Nima Firouzan, depicts an emotional journey from the depths of despair to the bliss of self-actualization.
“In the video, I’m going through the many levels of my mind — conscious, subconscious, unconscious — dealing with trauma,” LEADR explained. “Towards the middle of the video, my inner-child is hurt and my higher self comforting him. That leads to the video’s climax where I’m cleansed by the rain and dancing into salvation. The slurs that I have painted on my body represent just a few of the many slings and arrows that target all kinds of people every day. It’s not just about what I went through, but it’s the hate that anyone might suffer from in the course of their lives.”
Beyond the video’s undeniably powerful message, “Hi, I’m Human” feels like an artist coming into their own, healing as an adult and flourishing. It’s a strong reminder that deep down, we are all the same — human.
If you or someone you know needs support after experiencing race-related bias, discrimination or violence, contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at 212-549-2500. You can also connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor at no charge by texting the word “HOME” to 741741. Find a local therapist prioritizing racial justice and liberation through the Inclusive Therapists directory.
If you enjoyed this article, read about Allison Ponthier’s debut single “Cowboy.”
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