“If I don’t love myself, babe, who’s gonna love me?” questions rising Brooklyn singer/songwriter Goon Soul in “Who’s Gonna Love Me,” off his breakout EP LESS THAN A YEAR, released this spring. The bluesy track, layered with fuzzy rock guitars, bright piano licks and washed-out soulful vocals, speaks to the artist’s intimate experience of grappling with self-love—a relatable story about learning to cope with internal conflict before seeking outside validation.
For the single’s music video, Goon Soul recruited Club Angels director Andy Boyce and cast our favorite California Savage Love Bailey to serve as the visual’s scarlet-colored centerpiece. “I was born to ache; knew it since I was eight,” he sings walls-down, following Bailey around New York City, as she twirls on the subway among dead-eyed commuters and tosses her hair wildly in the woods. The two play off each other beautifully, like vintage Hollywood protagonists, both captured through Boyce’s dreamy queer lens.
Watch the BULLETT premiere of “Who’s Gonna Love Me,” and learn a bit more from Goon Soul and Andy Boyce, below:
What’s the story behind this track?
Goon Soul: I wrote this track during one of those New York mid-winter moments, when I was feeling over-worked, broke and under-loved. At the same time, I found I was distracting myself from my own unhappiness, rather than dealing with the reality of my situation and choosing to do something about it. I’m a believer in the idea that I can’t truly love someone, in a healthy way at least, without first learning how to love myself—not superficially, but in that deep, humbled, zen-as-fuck kind of way.
The world makes it hard for people to love themselves, and there are so many forces working to make us feel insecure and incomplete. We invest so much energy in finding creative ways to numb our loneliness rather than focusing that energy on how we can truly meet our own needs in a deeper level. The song is a progression into optimism and learning to really love myself. I can learn to be less dependent on lovers, possessions and media to distract me from dealing with my own insecurities. And loving from the platform of self-awareness and self-love can be so profound.
How is this song a reflection of your other music?
GS: I always tend to have a few projects in the works—it’s hard for me to limit myself to one genre or sound. I’ve felt so much growth as an artist in the past year, just trying to work in different realms and formats, and I’d love to keep that energy going. I’ve always had an aversion to pop music and anything with a mainstream sound, but I’ve been writing pop songs with a signed producer for a few months now and have actually loved it. I know that I could never give up my ability to inject my personal experience into my songs. And I truly don’t care that much about money.
Why is it important to create queer music?
GS: I believe that genuine queer music is important because it’s pushing the narrative of human experience forward. There are so many played out narratives in the music industry right now that are recycled for the purpose of making money—narratives that aren’t progressive or even interesting. At the same time. there is content coming out now in the mainstream that gives the illusion of queerness or progressiveness, but still supports old narratives that queer or progressive people don’t actually relate to. I can’t say I always make queer music, but my goal is to challenge old narratives in the ways that I can.
Why’d you decide to cast Love Bailey in this video?
Andy Boyce: When I first heard ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me,’ I was really taken by how self-questioning, loving [and] soulful the song was, and immediately wanted to make a music video for it. I met Bailey on the set of Cockyboys when they teamed up with BCALLA to do a fashion porn video for his FW 2015 collection. I was intrigued by her presence—I could tell she was someone who’s spent her whole life bridging fantasy with reality.
About a year later, while she was visiting New York, it dawned on me that she would be the perfect subject for a documentary. I have been to LA twice to film her. The first time was to document her on her ranch, and the second time, I filmed her as she was traveling in a big purple RV called the Mobile Mosque, to visit her Grandma Betty. The whole time I was filming, it hit me how much Bailey exudes self-love. When I decided to do this music video, I thought it would be great for her to play this embodiment of self-love that Goon Soul is chasing.
Why is it important to create queer films?
AB: I gravitate towards making films that feature queer people because I am inspired by the process in which queer people deal with pain, self-love and expression. The unique individuality that blossoms from these experiences is very beautiful to me, and I feel it is my duty to capture these experiences and send them off into the world—to help fight the homogeny our culture is saturated with.