Emmanuel Kelly’s new single and lyric video “Red Love” premiered exclusively with Variety ahead of a worldwide digital release today.
The song was written at a low point in Kelly’s life characterized by drugs, alcohol and homelessness. Kelly, off the heels of a stint on X-Factor Australia in 2011, experienced a series of roadblocks and obstacles. One music executive declared his physical differences (which include a prosthetic leg, one arm and spinal issues caused by scoliosis) wouldn’t look good for their brand. Another worried people might associate his Iraqi background with terrorism. Kelly told Variety: “It drove me down a dark path where I got on drugs, drank too much, became homeless. I was full of self-loathing and trying to find validation.” It was during that period Kelly penned “Red Love,” which premiered exclusively on Variety on February 10th. The song was inspired by his longing to regain his post-X Factor success.
The single comes from the forthcoming album “Your Story”, executive produced by idol-turned-mentor Chris Martin of Coldplay. “Emmanuel’s melodies just have that magic,” says Martin, who also appeared in the video for Kelly’s previous single, “Never Alone,” alongside Demi Lovato. “Some songs feel like they always existed somewhere. Once you hear ‘Red Love,’ you’re, like, ‘This must’ve existed in some dimension.’ It just needs to be heard.”
Pacific Records CEO Brian Witkin told Variety “I was so impressed by his [Emmanuel] musical ability, positive attitude and incredibly inspiring story. We’re so excited to share his music and positive message with the world.”
“Your Story” releases in June, accompanied by a one-man show featuring Kelly telling his story through his songs. He also has reality show, “Completely Abled,” and podcast, “Put Out of the Box,” coming up and is launching record label/management company, Outliers. “We want to work with the outliers of the world — the Emmanuel Kelly’s. People with incredible stories, who’d never get a second look in the society we live in.”
Listen to “Red Love” below: