Singer and songwriter Joost Laméris releases the song Remember that tells the story of someone finally letting go of toxic relationships after people or situations have held control for too long. By breaking the pattern, peace can be found in being alone. The meaningful story is translated into an expressive music video starring extravagant designs of major high fashion brands while mirroring the inner self as well as the judgmental aspects of the queer scene. 

Remember is a song that reminisces on singer/songwriter Joost Laméris’ past. He describes the process of how to set himself free from external powers, such as from beloved ones or physical situations that had a hold over him.

What is the key message you want to spread with this song?

‘”Remember’ is about my personal experience on how I managed to break free from toxic relationships/situations. When writing ‘Remember’, I took inspiration from friendships, romantic relationships but also work-related situations. I used to have a tendency to get stuck in unhealthy relationships because I wouldn’t stand up for myself. It took a lot of self-reflection in order for me to actively decide that I needed to break this pattern, despite my heart telling me to stay put because it felt easier in the moment. I did a lot of that self-reflection whilst writing ‘Remember’ and the rest of the tracks on my upcoming debut EP. The biggest lesson I took from it was that at the end of the day you have the power to chase what makes you feel good. There’s no need to accept somebody else’s unhealthy projections and at some point, you need to master up the strength to move on to better things. You just need to remember that you are in control of doing that and nobody else will do it for you.

The music video of Remember translates the process of setting free from a toxic relationship and finding rebirth in being alone. What did you feel while creating and shooting the video? 

On the shooting day I saw the exact visual I had in my mind for the music video come to life, it felt so exciting and surreal. I still feel so much gratitude because this video is the result of so many creatives pouring their hearts into their art. It was very honoring and inspiring to see everyone work so passionately on helping me visually tell the story that I sing about in ‘Remember’, which is such a personal song to me.

Can you tell us a bit more about the artistic direction and video itself? How was it directed, what were important design elements in it? 

For the music video for ‘Remember’ I worked together with film director Anna van der Velde and cinematographer Tom Enzler. We had a few meetings about how we visually wanted to tell the story and immediately noticed we had the exact same vision. We wanted to focus on symbolism, high fashion and abstract storytelling. I wrote ‘Remember’ about remembering the past I shared with someone in order to finally find the courage to let go of the toxic relationship I was in. In order to do so, I had to reflect on myself, and the video shows this story through the roles of the observer and the observed. For instance, it is symbolized in the first scene where 12 men, including myself, are looking at a sculpture of myself in a sculpture class. Once I observed myself enough through my own eyes and the eyes of others, the sculpture transitions from a static state to movement. In that moment I break free from the cycle of being stuck in a toxic situation. Simultaneously, the twelve men staring at me also symbolize the strong focus on physical and sexual appearance that I often feel in the gay scene. In the second darker phase of the film, I overcome inner demons in order to let go of my past to find rebirth in being alone again.”

To embrace the symbolic and emotional value of the story and its characters, extravagant fashion designs brought an extra layer to the artistic video. High fashion brands such as Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, COMME des GARÇONS, La Maskarade and Versace are featured in the clip. 

“The fashion gracefully compliments the storyline as each character is dressed according to their symbolic and emotional role. We collaborated with young and established designers from various countries in order to add this artistic depth via fashion. In terms of the shooting style, Anna took Caravaggio as an inspiration for the dramatic and melancholic feeling that the video holds for lighting and camera movement.

You must be brave to be in love – but learning to be with yourself and fully embrace your true self can be one of the hardest life lessons. What advice would you give to people who have just separated from loved ones and want to find their way back to themselves?

Hmm tough question, because I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. I can tell you however what I realized during the separation that I sing about in ‘Remember’ and maybe that can bring some insights. I realized that I had put myself on the sideline during that relationship because that relationship provided me with what I thought was happiness. As cheesy as it sounds, when going through the breakup I focused on living my life for me and not for someone else. I focused my time on figuring out what really made me happy and what was just a distraction in order to stop myself from feeling. I spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts which brought me a lot of clarity. Being where I am now, I feel so much stronger and more independent. I believe more in myself and look at companionship with a healthier set of eyes. Another thing that helped me during that period was writing, as it’s my favorite way to self-reflect. It was during that separation that I decided I wanted to release my debut EP, because it was a dream that I had put on hold for a little too long. And look at me now, track 1 of the EP is out and the rest will be released soon. The period after this separation gave me so many insights that lead to life changing decisions. So, to others I’d advise them to find the strength to focus on yourself and see the lessons that are there for you to learn.  

Remember can be listened to on all major streaming platforms from February 24. 

director of photography TOM ENZLER
production design YANA ENGELBRECHT
fashion direction NIKÉ HUIBERTS
casting and photography GREGORY BARENDREGT 
CGI Title design NINA DOLL