Queer alt-pop artist rei brown returns with ethereal single + video: “Could I Be Somebody”




New York City-based Japanese producer and musician rei brown releases his ethereal first single today, “Could I Be Somebody” along with its mysterious, sci-fi-themed video set in a surreal dreamscape. At the center of the synth ballad lies rei’s effortless ability to capture nuanced emotion, this time, the timid whispers of a new crush and the exploration of queer love and identity.

Alongside new music, rei brown will join fellow alt-pop musician keshi this Summer on a wide North American tour beginning on May 11th in Dallas, TX and concluding on June 24th in Houston, TX and includes two Los Angeles dates, two Atlanta dates and two New York City dates. Tickets are on sale now via reibrown.com.

“Could I Be Somebody” is an ode to the unique loneliness of the young queer experience. On the track, rei wonders, “Could I be somebody, could I be somebody you love?” as he navigates the strange secrecy and different realities that queer people often exist in. Rei explains the lyrics have roots in his time throughout middle school when he found himself feeling lonely and not engaging in the same relationships that his peers were. “In middle school, I was realizing I was queer, and navigating that loneliness. Other people were starting to have relationships and it felt like that world was cut off to me. I felt like someone must be out there for me, but I just couldn’t see them or feel them — as if they were in a different plane of reality.” However, he began to realize that he could create his own reality– a secret one where he could be safe, and one that his heterosexual peers would never understand. Rei continues, “When another boy and I came out to each other and started dating it really felt like entering a parallel dimension. We got to form our own little secret world where we could be safe together.”

Photo credit: bbyclaude

Directed by ZacharyBailey and produced by AvaDoorley, the cinematic music video follows two kids as they wistfully run through a quiet, gleaming forest. The fleeting butterflies of a new crush begin to develop between the two, and they later chase each other into an empty, abandoned house. It concludes with a young rei reaching into a portal, bringing viewers into his sci-fi, queer fantasy world. Coated in a warm blanket of youth and nostalgia, the magical video captures the coy hint-dropping and games that come with having a new crush. It begins with nervous tension that surrounds a new feeling and a new understanding of oneself, then there’s excitement and fear, but once it’s found, there’s a profound safety that rei gently grasps within the track and video.

Reflecting on the video, rei explains, “We wanted to convey a coming of age story that captured the innocence of youth in the video that was reflective of my own life navigating closeted relationships for the first time.”

After growing up in Kobe, Japan, rei found himself relocating to Boston in 2011 to study songwriting at Berklee College of Music. After graduating and moving to New York City, he released a slew of music on Soundcloud and later, his debut EP raybaboon which led to several successful singles and EPs that earned over 100million collective streams. From there, rei made his touring debut on the ‘Majestic Casual: World Tour’ through North America in 2018, and the following year, joined Japanese-Australian artist Joji’s ‘BALLADS1 Tour’. 2020 brought four more successful singles including “Islands” premiered by ZaneLowe, and his “Honest” music video which premiered with NYLON. Rei also reunites with Joji on his 2020 album Nectar, making an appearance on “Normal People.” Today, with a renewed sense of self, rei brings his most honest and refined sound with him into 2022, keeping much more in store for the months ahead.

“Could I Be Somebody,” out everywhere now, offers a place of refuge for anyone who deviates from the norm. The track, combined with the video, build a safe world where queerness and individuality thrive as rei ponders if the idealistic love he feels could become reality. Thoughtful, touching lyricism combined with dreamy experimental electronic synths allow rei to immerse listeners into a world all his own, blending genres to blaze his own trail. Don’t miss rei brown on tour with keshi this Summer across North America. Tickets are on-sale now here. Find more of rei brown on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube and stay tuned for much more from the rising musician.

LISTEN: “Islands”

LISTEN: “Normal People” by Joji ft. rei brown

WATCH: “Honest”

Photo credit: bbyclaud

rei brown On Tour Summer 2022Supporting keshi
05/11 – The Echo Lounge – Dallas, TX

05/12 – The Plaza Live – Orlando, FL

05/14 – Revolution Live – Fort Lauderdale, FL

05/17 – Center Stage Theater – Atlanta, GA

05/18 – Center Stage Theater – Atlanta, GA

05/19 – The Underground (Fillmore Charlotte) – Charlotte, NC

05/22 – Webster Hall – New York, NY

05/23 – Webster Hall – New York, NY

05/26 – Royale – Boston, MA

05/27 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA

05/28 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON

05/29 – Théâtre Corona – Montréal, QC

05/31 – Saint Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI

06/01 – House of Blues Chicago – Chicago, IL

06/02 – Fine Line – Minneapolis, MN

06/04 – Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom – Denver, CO

06/07 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC

06/08 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR

06/09 – Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA

06/11 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA

06/12 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA

06/14 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

06/15 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

06/17 – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA

06/18 – The Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA

06/19 – The Van Buren – Phoenix, AZ

06/22 – The Aztec Theatre – San Antonio, TX

06/23 – Scoot Inn – Austin, TX

06/24 – House of Blues Houston – Houston, TX