Joshua Bassett today documents his tumultuous 2021 with a trio of raw, highly emotional singles which are released alongside their own stunning visuals: ‘Crisis’, ‘Secret’ and ‘Set Me Free’ are all out now via Warner Records. In a bid to help others, the singer, songwriter, and ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ actor shares his journey from the depths of grief and emotional trauma to the early stages of healing.
“As stated in ‘Set Me Free,’ ‘It’s been a fucking year,’” the 20-year-old begins, an unflinchingly honest statement about the three-song package. “While it’s been one of the most challenging periods in my lifetime by far; it has ultimately led to immense growth.” This is reflected in his new music. “I’ve been up, down, and everywhere in between,” he says. “Each of these songs pinpoint a different moment in time, in my processing.”
“If you get to tell your truth then so do I,” sings Joshua over acoustic guitar on ‘Crisis’, before setting the record straight: “Half the shit you’re saying is only half true, messing with my life as a career move.” He hopes his story will help others get through their lowest moments. “100% of the earnings for my new single ‘Crisis’ will be donated to mental health organizations in perpetuity,” the multi-talented artist revealed. In honour of Giving Tuesday, he donated a further $1 for every new pre-save/pre-add to Bring Change to Mind, Jack.org, Beyond Blue and Mind UK.
The other tracks pick up where ‘Crisis’ left off – with pure vulnerability. ‘Secret’ finds the budding hitmaker ruing his decisions. “My friends all warned me I should run for the hills, but I defended you still,” he laments over upbeat retro-pop production. The trio of tracks ends with the powerful ‘Set Me Free’, a beautiful ballad about moving on. Joshua says, “Releasing these vulnerable snippets of my life is equally terrifying and beautifully liberating.”
Joshua’s goal is ultimately to inspire others. “My hope is that those going through similar things feel heard and seen and can step closer to healing. While it’s important to express my truth in art, I do not wish ill will on anyone, nor do I endorse using art as fuel for negativity,” he continues. “I truly hope the peace I’ve found amidst this challenging year encourages others to keep going and know that there really is light at the end of the tunnel.” With these three singles, Joshua not only speaks his truth, but also showcases his growth as a singer, songwriter and musician.
All three songs come with a suitably emotional one-take music video that combine to form an overarching narrative. Joshuastrums his guitar at a sunset photoshoot in the intimate ‘Crisis’ visual before standing up and delivering his lyrics straight to the camera. He is then catapulted through a dream sequence and makes a startling discovery in ‘Secret’, while serenity is the theme of ‘Set Me Free’ as Joshua is shown playing the piano on a pristine beach.
The three new songs are Joshua’s first releases since ‘Feel Something’, which helped bring his total global streams to more than 170 million. That track coincided with the budding hitmaker announcing that he was a member of the LGBTQ+ community that he candidly spoke about in profiles in Attitude and GQ. This press followed the arrival of a critically acclaimed, self-titled debut EP at the start of 2021. In October, he was also named in Billboard’s esteemed 21 Under 21 list.