What does it mean to be Joyful?
I wrote this song as a reminder to myself. And to try and learn how to forgive someone.
A heartbreak never fails to pull the rug out from under your feet. The pain is always unrecognizable, no matter what shape or form it takes. But heartbreak can be strangely comforting, and can bring a certain clarity to things. You start to recognize what you can and can’t control– to forgive yourself a little, and to take in the beauty of the world around you.
“JOYFUL” was one of the first songs we wrote for the new album. We’d just gotten off 2 years of touring– my body was fragile, my mind was a mess, and my heart had just been broken by someone I cared about very much. So I got lost in my work, looking for something to help ground me.
One day my brother sent me an mp3 of some chord changes he’d written and I started immediately singing the phrase “… to be Joyful” over and over again. So I chose to write the song (at least, superficially) about him. About someone who can appreciate just being alive, being here on this planet, regardless of his personal circumstances. If someone like Casey, who I’ve watched overcome so much adversity in his life, can appreciate the beauty of this world then I ought to be able to as well. To just be joyful.
That’s someone who I’d like to be.
– Sam Harris, X Ambassadors
X Ambassadors release their moving new single and accompanying music video for “Joyful”. The track was written and produced by X Ambassadors, mixed by Manny Marroquin (Rihanna, Sia, Bastille) and mastered by Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Calle 13). “Joyful” will appear on the band’s new album by the same name which is set for release this spring.
Fans can pre-order the album in special configurations now and get early access to tickets for X Ambassadors’ spring headline tour which will be announced very soon. Visit https://shopxambassadors.com for more info.
“Joyful” is accompanied by a moving music video that was directed by award winning filmmaker and actress Tess Harrison and visually picks up where the video for last single “Ahead of Myself” left off. Once again X Ambassadors’ Sam Harris has opted to sing live for the filming and “Joyful” finds him joined by the band – his brother Casey Harris and Adam Levin – and a gospel choir, all of whom are singing live as well. The video was shot at the historic Los Angeles Theater in downtown LA and in addition to Sam’s vocals, the music and choir were all captured live as well.
“Joyful” continues a narrative for X Ambassadors, who endeavor to find their voice in these chaotic and uncertain times. Last March they released the inspirational song “Hoping” and donated the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union. “Joyful” is more personal than “Hoping,” however the message is as universal. When writing “Joyful,” Sam, drew inspiration from his brother Casey, who is legally blind and manages to find the light and joy in everyday life, as well as his personal experiences such as writing a song with Yemen artist Methal for Spotify’s “I’m with the banned.” For Sam, the realization that we live in a country where we are free to express our ideas in and of itself is something to be grateful for.