Indie pop artist St. Lenox, aka Andrew Choi, admits that he’s great at karaoke but not so much at meeting people. So goes the inspiration for the music video “Hashtag Brooklyn Karaoke Party,” a song off his upcoming album, Ten Fables Of Young Ambition and Passionate Love, out September 28.
Premiering the music video on NewNowNext, Choi took a hot minute to talk about the album, failed gay bar pickups, and getting older.
The video has subtitles unrelated to the lyrics, so should we watch it twice, with and then without sound?
It depends on what the viewer thinks is important to communicate about the song and the video. For me, I think the protagonist in the song is hopeful about love, but also understands that the search for love is oftentimes going to lead to disappointment. We get a sense of hope maybe verging on desperation, as he tells a story about his relationship with technology and the future, and how he hopes it will bring him love.
What’s the story behind “Hashtag Brooklyn Karaoke Party?”
I used to go to Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Metropolitan gay bar for karaoke on a weekly basis, and sometimes to try and meet people. I wanted to capture the drama of what it feels like to develop a crush on someone very quickly—in this case, another karaoke singer with music tastes that you have an affinity for. You know how sometimes someone might not necessarily be that attractive to you, but if they can go up and sing a song that you love very well, that can change how you feel about them? In this case, the protagonist doesn’t really end up with the object of his desire, but I suppose that’s part of the whole experience of looking for love.
How is TFOYAAPL different from your previous two albums?
I’m turning thirty-nine at the end of September, and I wanted to write a send-off for my last year before forty. The topics of young ambition and passionate love are sort of beaten to death in the indie scene, so I thought it would be a nice opportunity to breathe new life into them.
Another track on the album, “Apparently,” seems to paint a picture of you as lacking emotion, as a friend berates you for considering them “valuable but disposable.” Will people come away from this album thinking “St. Lenox is a jerk!”?
I think people should come away from the record with an understanding of what it’s like to be young, from the perspective of someone who’s older.