Press Release - 29 July 2020


Multi-faceted Artist Releases Self-Produced  Music During Covid-19 Lockdown


‘Narcissus’ is the title of Joh Urban’s 5th self-produced release, and his 8th single. The single had its origins firmly entrenched in the Covid-19 pandemic. As the virus spread through Europe and countries around the world started closing their borders, Joh Urban and his husband, Jean-Daniel Meyer-Vermeulen decided to leave Switzerland, where they are residing, to join their family in South Africa for the duration of the lockdown. Within the first two weeks of isolation, Joh felt the depression setting in and to combat this, he turned towards his music production as a solace and a way to escape melancholia. 


“With so much time on my hands during the lockdown, I suddenly spent most of my days on social media. I noticed a trend of people complaining about toxicity in others, and a definite rising in the inappropriate use of the word narcissist. It suddenly looked like this became the go-to self-diagnosis of any relationship problems for some people. This  inspired me to write Narcissus, digging into my own past experiences and remembering  being called a narcissist in a previous relationship.”


Narcissus is an introspection of a narcissist in terms of a romantic relationship. There is a contradiction in this very notion, since a true narcissist will not be inclined to introspective self-evaluation, thus begging the question, is he truly a narcissist? As he discovers more about himself in the process, and finds that he doesn’t truly have narcissistic traits, he then tells his lover to just leave. “Run as far as you can, run away from my reach if you honestly feel that I am bad news.”


Joh Urban is the stage name for acclaimed Fashion Designer, Hendrik Vermeulen, who released his first track, Ndingamanzi, in collaboration with Bianca le Grange and Zolani Mahola, in 2015 in the iconic Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station in New York City.


For the first time in three years, the artist is also working on a music video for the new single.“I felt that I had even more to offer with this particular track and wanted to give myself even more space for expression.” 


The music video was filmed by Joh’s partner, Jean-Daniel, and features Hendrik Vermeulen’s creations, especially designed and crafted for the video. Joh put his production skills to work to edit the video and do all the special effects and computer animation.


Jean-Daniel says: “Due to the strict conditions of the nationwide lockdown in South Africa, we were forced to shoot most of the video indoors, on green screen. Joh and I thought that the challenge was perhaps too big for our skills but it was in fact a blessing in disguise as it forced us to shape the filming in a different way than we originally imagined; and by doing so forcing us to learn new skills. This lead to an end result with perhaps an even stronger message.”


The 80’s Retro Throwback feel of the song, lent itself to a Eurovision style eclectic video.

The song was launched online on 19 June 2020 and is available on all music platforms.

The official media and music video release date: 31 July 2020

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