Joshua Ray Walker’s cover of Lionel Richie’s’ 80s hit “Hello” has become an oft-requested live song, but he has never officially released the cover until now. The Texan singer and songwriter officially shared his performance on Friday, May 21.
In Walker’s hands, Richie’s 1984 No.1 goes from a piano ballad with the musical flourishes of that decade to an upbeat mix with regular drums, violin keys and country harmonies on this famous line of choir: “Hello, is this me you are looking for?”
“I arranged the cover a long time ago, and it’s one of the only songs that isn’t mine that’s regularly requested at concerts,” Walker says in a press release. “When I had the chance to cut the whole group for [the sessions for my 2020 album Glad You Made It], I knew I had to do it.
Of course, part of the appeal of “Hello” more than three decades after its release is its delightfully period music video, which features Richie as a drama teacher with what he believes to be an unrequited crush. for a student, who happens to be blind. Even with the current storyline power dynamic factor, the clip has become a classic for its story details out of nowhere – including that end scene involving a clay sculpture of Richie’s head.
Faced with the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, Walker came up with his own version of the “Hello” clip: a sort of shot-by-shot remake, filmed at home on an iPhone under the direction of Nathan Mongol Wells. Walker portrays both Richie’s character and his sweetheart, some models fill other roles – and, of course, the sculpture scene makes the cut.
âWe did our best to recreate the magic of the 80s. To do something without any expectations was very liberating; the fact that anyone is going to see this is a miracle, âsays Walker. “I’m glad people see a lighter side of me that isn’t on display in my more downhearted originals.”
Before releasing his second album in 2020, Walker dropped his first record, wish you were Here, in 2019. Now in his thirties, he has been working since the age of 13.
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