Tom Aspaul, inventor of the Black Country and superstar of all-things queer pop, is back with his new video for Let Them (It’s All Love) and we are obsessed.
The single, from Aspaul’s upcoming second record Life In Plastic (a self-confessed Aqua reference), is music to our ears as it embodies his classic Eurotastic pop charm. We spoke with Tom ahead of the world premiere of the video for Let Them about what we can expect from the Black Country Disco star in 2022.
Let Them is a wonderfully camp returning single, what was the inspiration behind it?
Thank you so much! So many inspirations really. As an artist, there’s always a lag between what inspires you and when that finally comes to fruition. Before I released my first record, I was obsessed with disco and the 70s, but by the end of the album cycle I was sick of it and listening to a load of music from the 90s/early 00s. That’s what inspired this single, this entire album – Europop, trance, Eurovision, Balkan music, UK garage. Basically anything that isn’t disco! Lyrically, it’s a kind of continuation from Black Country Disco, but now we’re three years down the line from when those songs were written and I’m in a massively different place. It’s about letting go of that era and moment in time, moving on and letting myself find love again.
The video is pure pop, what was the best part of your physical transformation?
I absolutely loved disappearing into this other persona for the video. We bleached my facial hair and eyebrows, I wore black, alien contacts – I was unrecognisable! The stylist, Aaron, really let loose on the outfits, some of which did not make the final cut. There was so much going on, I was really out of my comfort zone, but it was such an amazing experience. A real popstar moment. The day after the shoot, I frantically dyed my eyebrows back to their original colour and when I was in Lisbon a week or so later, I shaved the neon green hair off. I’ve been a skinhead ever since!
What can you tease from your upcoming second album?
It’s very nearly finished! You may or may not have spotted the album’s name at the very beginning of the Let Them video. It’s going to be called Life in Plastic – an Aqua reference! – and honestly, it’s so much fun and full of bangers. I can hardly stop myself from playing it all the time on my Instagram Stories. There is a vague concept about this being set within a virtual reality game. I dreamed up the idea while we were in the middle of a third lockdown. I wanted escapism, exoticism, fun. So, I channeled all that energy into this record while I was stuck inside. Visually and sonically it’s about wanting to take yourself elsewhere, whether that be to a new lover, a new country, a new life – something I think we all fantasise about. I’ve worked with Gil Lewis, who produced the first album, again, but every song is co-produced by me this time around, so I have a lot more input into how the record sounds, which has been so much fun. I’ve also collaborated with my wonderful friend MNEK on a couple of tracks, which is always a joy.
Are you excited for any live performances coming in 2022?
Yes! First of all, I really need to get a live agent. I did the whole thing on my own last year and it was massively hard work – but 2021 really was a transformative year for me in terms of live shows. I really came out of my on-stage shell. Looking back at some of my early performances compared to say, Manchester Pride, where I’m writhing around in a pair of silver hot pants – that’s growth. I’m looking forward to doing some international shows, some Pride weekends and another UK mini tour.
Let Them (It’s All Love) is out now on iTunes and streaming services. Check out the exclusive premiere for the music video here or below.
Director/Editor Sam Taylor-Edwards
Director of Photography Jack Hamilton
Colourist Myles Bevan
Colourist Producer Dan Kreeger
2nd AC Rui Jang Ong
Gaffer Linda Wu
Focus Puller Cordelia Lawler
VFX Ryann Charless
Stylist Aaron Francis Walker
MUA Lily Simmonds
Hair Rooibos London
Custom Harness Gabriella Marina Gonzales
Set Design Isabelle Buckland
Set Design Assistants Brendan Howley, Hannah Buckland, Matthew Deaves
Logo Design Sam Ogden
Photography Jonathan Daniel Pryce