Pictured: Russell Elliott (left) and Alonso Guzman
Russell Elliot is only 23 years old, but the D.C.-raised, Brooklyn-based R&B singer's voice has a depth and maturity that belies his youth. "My mission is to tell it like it is," Elliot says, "to create authentic, powerful music out of my lived experience and worldview." That certainly seems to be the case in the song and video for "Around," which explores pansexuality and a relationship that happened behind closed doors. Choreographed by the Kuperman Brothers, the video directed by Zoe Rain also features dancer Alonso Guzman -- and is certainly fun and sexy and gorgeous.
"The song is about a boy I met in college. He wanted me but not meaningfully. He wanted me but not as badly as he wanted heteronormativity, or privilege, or comfort. Around is the confrontation I couldn't bring myself to address in the moment. Frankly, it's the 'go fuck yourself' I never gave him in person."