Boy Untitled and GESS look to each other to create pop magic with ‘Imposter’

Jon Ali is In The Know’s music contributor. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram for more.

In 2021, it’s time to push ourselves to look beyond the surface. That’s precisely the mission Boy Untitled and GESS have with their new collaboration, “Imposter.”

For those unfamiliar: Mark Tennyson, better known by his stage name Boy Untitled, began his musical journey in the LA queer-art scene in 2018 as a singer, producer and creator. Now, his following includes a community of fans, thousands of worldwide streams and a family that supports the movement. His sonic outputs like “Skin” and “Sacrifice” are intoxicatingly lush, human and genre-bending. His trademark sound is authentic, no-boundaries pop.

GESS is an incredible rising LA-based multi-talent in his own right, responsible for ambient, intoxicating and progressive R&B-pop hits. Just this past summer, GESS teamed up with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Shea Couleé on a collaboration with Mykki Blanco, “Collide,” which made its debut on the season five premiere of All Stars. Since its release, the single has amassed over one million streams and counting.

These two are on their way up in the queer music scene, which makes their collaboration on “Imposter” a no-brainer.

Credit: Boy Untitled and GESS

The song finds the two confronting feelings of imposter syndrome over an array of moody atmospherics, cosmic synths and a propulsive electronica dance pulse on the chorus: “Imposter/ I can’t take all these eyes on me/ Imposter/ Afraid you might look too deep/ Afraid you may look…” 

Not only is the song an effortless blend of both artist’s styles, but it eloquently conveys the all-too-relatable feeling of imposter syndrome.

“‘Imposter,’ on its surface, is a song about confronting imposter syndrome and the crippling effects it can have in our lives, and this video is a visual metaphor about the masks we wear in the social media/public sphere,” Boy Untitled told In The Know. “On a deeper level, it’s about the current state of our world and how we’ve had to adapt to new methods of human connection in 2020. Relationships that exist between lenses, mirrors and technology. Are they real? Do they satisfy? At its core, ‘Imposter’ asks: ‘Where does the person I present to the world meet the person I’m too afraid to be?'”

Credit: Boy Untitled & GESS

The video for “Imposter” brings the explorative, personal club track to life, following themes of identity and anxiety.

“Writing and recording ‘Imposter’ with GESS took almost all of 2020,” Boy Untitled said of teaming up with GESS. “At a time when I was struggling to find my own identity as an artist, my collaboration and growing friendship with GESS provided a space where I could explore and examine the mental blocks that were feeding my insecurities and — yes — my imposter syndrome. Sitting down and writing together has become one of my favorite creative outlets.”

“With us, it’s not just about putting pen to paper, but about commiserating and imagining — and spilling the tea,” he added. “In spite of the world falling apart, we spent all of 2020 sharing ideas, developing our visions and unconditionally being there to help the other; whether that meant sharing resources or carrying around a disposable camera and being each other’s photographer. I trust GESS, and I love that we’re in the trenches together. It’s why he’s playing such a big role in writing my next project, Zenith, which starts rolling out next month.”

Consider it musical medicine you can dance to — and a reminder that you’re never alone in feelings of doubt. Make like Boy Untitled and GESS, and turn it into magic.

If you enjoyed this article, check out Jon Ali’s spotlight on Almondmilkhunni, the bi songstress on the rise.

More from In The Know:

15 pop gems by queer artists that you may have missed in 2020

Barack Obama’s first presidential memoir is out now — and it’s cheaper to read with Kindle

These inexpensive silky-soft pillowcases on Amazon are good for your hair and your skin

The 3 most affordable meal delivery kits for cooking at home

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: