Joel Phil has been writing songs since he was ten years old and his years of crafting have taught him the importance of singing from the heart — here is an artist who means what he sings. In the case of “Raise Up”, Joel is embracing identity in all its complicated facets. Purely optimistic, the lyrics declare: “Stand up for something / together we will shine”. It’s easy and revitalizing to believe him.
With crisp mixing by Jaycen Joshua, who is also known for his work on Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, and mastered by Kevin Peterson of Lemonade and Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, “Raise Up” is a study in careful build-up. The vocals begin as understated alongside a strong beat, and when the drop comes it arrives with all the inspiration that the lyrics carry.
The video for the track strikes a balance between a joyous street party and an intimate scene of dressing up and dressing down by a drag queen in private. Both sets of images languish in ideas of identity, but the tonal shift feels not only riveting, but poignant. Every detail, from the synchronized dance moves to the eyelash removal, feels delicately chosen to create a mood.
“Raise Up” was released with a “Spanglish Version” and two remixes: the “Ali Stone Remix” and the “Marc Remix”, all of which you can find here.