Bridesmen is the brainchild of R&B singer Kenton Chen. While perhaps most recognizable from NBC’s Sing-Off, Chen has also performed with the likes of Katy Perry, Kesha, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Portugal the Man, and Ben Folds. Bridemen is Chen’s way of striking out on his own and establishing his own style.
The video to his new single “Someone Who Loves Me” begins by giving us a shirtless Chen before a black backdrop warning us: “There ain’t nothing original, nothing I can say that hasn’t been said before.” Yet he says it anyway, quite poetically actually: “I’ve been through fire and through the rain, tryin’ to make myself a name but it’s pointless,” he sings in a delicate but satiny voice that’s nearly breathless.
After Chen’s image, we get a series of other shirtless people either lip-synching the song at the camera, or reacting to what’s being sung by shaking their head, sighing heavily, or wiping tears. All of them are of different sexes and races, conveying the simple message that we are all looking for someone to love us and deeply confused about how exactly to make this happen.
The song itself is mostly stripped down and straightforward. It sees Chen putting himself out there, naked and vulnerable as he is in the video. The result is a track that’s soulful and moving, if not a little sad. The song begins with a slow beat behind Chen’s bluesy vocals, then builds with an organ and background singers. Chen’s plea that he just wants someone to love him sounds hopeful but obviously comes from a place of immense hurt. You can hear it in every note of his singing.
"We hurt when we don't understand each other,” Chen says. “I've come to realize that my specific experiences of being gay and Asian are not particular to me. My life story reverberates far beyond my specificities, and anyone from any race or sexuality can empathize with the need to belong and be understood.”