Los Angeles singer/songwriter John Errol had nearly finished his solo album, Inferno, when an ex-boyfriend he met living in LA changed the trajectory of his music. “He was unfaithful and blamed me,” Errol says. “But for the first time in a while, I couldn’t ignore myself any longer. I needed to say something to articulate my confusion in real time.” So he put away all the guitars and synthesizers used on Inferno for an instrument that gave him clarity: the piano he learned to play on.
What resulted is Errol’s first true single as a solo artist, “What You’re Looking For,” which intimately reflects on his damaging relationship and, in doing so, discovers self-love in a time of insecurity. The song is “about that moment where something so familiar abruptly changes—where you can’t seem to recognize someone you were pretty certain of,” he says, highlighting a queer generation where temptation runs wild on hook-up apps like Grindr.
“He said that he always saw me as a little mirror/ And I’d be standing right there unseen, when he’d look at me like I was nobody,” Errol sings above bedroom-pop production that’s equal parts Blood Orange and LANY. “And now he believes he can do better/ But if I’m a projection, guess there’s something less he sees in himself.”
Although Errol’s single is rooted in queer romance, the message is certainly universal. “I think everyone can relate to this experience of being blind-sided, or someone projecting insecurities onto a relationship, or someone just looking for meaning in another person,” he says. “To me, ‘What You’re Looking For’ is a mumbled kiss-off—an anthem of self-love and recognition to cry to on the dance floor.”