Todd Alsup’s new music video “Manhattan” is an ode to his beloved city as it braves the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dedicated to the essential workers and everyday heroes of New York City, the video features its diverse population coming together as a community while remaining six feet apart. Essential workers such as firemen and first responders are given special focus, as well as the artists and musicians who continue to brighten up the city in dark and confusing times.
Raised in Detroit, Alsup first became enamored with New York City on a high school trip. He fell further in love while attending New York University, where he earned a bachelor of music degree studying voice, theory, and songwriting. The singer, songwriter, and keyboardist says:
“‘Manhattan’ is a love song I wrote for the city I’ve called home for over 20 years. New York was, of course, hit very hard at the onset of COVID-19 and is now a center of protest in the fight against systemic racism and police brutality. I’ve seen my city rise up in the face of daunting challenges many times before and I’ve chosen to create a video that celebrates the spirit of strength and perseverance of New Yorkers.”
Alsup criticizes many aspects of the city throughout the track, such as its noise, cold temperature, and “lunatics everywhere,” but ultimately couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. “One million reasons to leave and a million more to stay / Oh Manhattan, I wouldn’t have you any other way,” he concedes. In addition to “Manhattan,” Alsup has also released a lyric video for his cover of The Spinners’ 1973 hit “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” adding a retro hip hop flair to the Motown classic.