At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the mental health of many people worldwide, gospel artiste Lucas Musiq is assuring troubled hearts that there is hope. His latest effort, Keep It Real, removes the masks facilitating depression and self-harm, and embraces vulnerability as he encourages people to call on God for a breakthrough.
“I know that I am not perfect so instead of putting up a facade, I choose to keep it real,” he told BUZZ. “When I was writing the song, the words ‘don’t hurt yourself’ kept coming to my mind so I had to put it in. Then I started thinking about why people would hurt themselves. It is usually because of pain that they experience or trying to cope with trauma that has happened to them and some people are just unstable mentally so the song is pointing them to someone who can help. Jesus can help them on a spiritual and emotional level and God uses people to help them on a natural level so I want to encourage people to pray to God when they go through depression and other mental health issues and then speak up and talk to a person because God uses people.”
“During rough times you think about whether or not death can come to you or your family. We try to keep it real and struggle with those emotions.”– Lucas Musiq
Accompanying the track is the lucid KD Visuals-directed video which follows the “picture-perfect” celebrity when the cameras are rolling, contrasted with the self-inflicting woman who yields to her pain behind closed doors. In keeping with his mission to effect positive change through his work, Lucas is working on a partnership with American-based health and wellness brand, Health Jox.
“It’s a non-profit that is focused on mental health issues overseas, so we should be seeing a big movement focused on getting people the different types of help that they need mentally.”
Keep It Real follows his two last releases, Stay Cool and Switch Up the Cycle, and precedes his #PTIO EP. The acronym represents “Play Time Is Over” which will serve as the name of his sophomore album.
“The EP is gonna be an in-between project before the album,” he said. “I haven’t released music in a long time before 2020 and I know my fanbase wants to hear more music from me. We would love to do the album launch this year but because of COVID-19 we wouldn’t be able to do it the way we would want to. I care about my fans and wanted them to have some music while they are waiting. Hopefully the pandemic will be over soon so that I can actually have people in attendance at a venue for the album release.”
Fans can expect his signature hip hop and RnB style of gospel music on the EP, the tracks for which will offer insight into the feel of his upcoming album.
“I am making music to uplift our souls and take our minds off the virus, and other songs are to encourage people during the virus,” he said. “During rough times you think about whether or not death can come to you or your family. We try to keep it real and struggle with those emotions. Some songs are made to help you reflect on your situation; you might say to yourself, ‘I wish I knew this or that’ or wonder when problems will end. Other songs are made to take you far away from your problems. You can keep a song on repeat for as long as you need to get away.”
Lucas Musiq released his debut album, Not From Here, in 2016.