Caleb Johnson, the winner of American Idol 13, debuts his new “Fighting Gravity” music video for Yahoo Music. The song, from his 2014 debut album, Testify, was initially conceived as a love song.
“As I performed the song live for people on tour, I just got a great reaction from people saying that song helped them get through tough periods of their life, when loved ones were passing away or someone was sick,” Caleb explained. “It was just a really great song of comfort for them. That was such a huge honor for me as singer, as a performer, as an artist, to get that feedback, because it means you’re doing your job as an artist and making music that connects with people on a deeper level.”
Eventually, the song took on new meaning for Caleb when he met a young cancer patient.
“I had this powerful moment in my life where I visited a children’s hospital,” he explains in a behind-the-scenes clip, reflecting on an encounter with a child suffering from a rare, terminal form of pediatric brain cancer called DIPG. “Me being in that room with [the boy] and his mother and his aunt was just a powerful and haunting moment in my life that I’ll never forget. I just remember leaving and getting in my car and driving and thinking, ‘This story has got be told. People need to see this and really see what I saw in that room.’”
The new video tells the story of a young, hospital bound boy, who finds escape and solace in fantasies of space travel. As the boy’s imagination takes flight, it also serves as a metaphor for mortality and the possibility of a limitless life beyond our broken bodies. It’s pretty sad, so grab your tissues.
Caleb hopes the video will “raise awareness and bring to light this terrible disease that strikes down families… really any sickness and illness that riddles families and just takes a normal family and flips it on their head and rips up people’s lives… Once people really start to think about the mysteries and ins and outs and ebbs and flows of life, people really need to sit down and be thankful and be humbled about their existence on earth, and just enjoy the moment.”
Behind the Scenes