Following nearly a dozen covers and one original song, Josh Levi and the other members of Citizen Four just dropped some major new fire. It’s called “Testify,” and it tells the story of a guy who’s been accused of cheating trying to assure his girl that he really isn’t, that he’d never betray her trust like that. We chopped it up with Josh today about that new new, his own “Testify” situation, when we can expect a full album, and more.
This is your group’s second original single, right?
Josh: This is actually being pushed as our first single in terms of radio possibility and all the big stuff. ‘Cold’ was more of a tastemaker song just to sort of let the world know what type of music we’re making and what our sound is and what we’re about.
What was the inspiration for this song? How did it come to be?
Josh: We worked with really talented writers … I remember us all going into the studio when this was being made, and we just kind of all freaked out and were excited that this could potentially be an introduction for us as a song. We all felt strongly about it. It was a song that was being made for us that we got to be a part of, and now, here it is.
So, have you ever been in a “Testify” situation?
Josh: (Laughs) Nope! I ain’t a cheater, and I’ve never dated a girl that’s cheated on me. So, thankfully, I have not.
What do you like most about this particular song?
Josh: When I initially heard it, I knew I would fall in love with performing it. We’ve recorded so many songs and so much music and kind of a mixture of tempo and genres, but for this song, just the fact that it was immediately hype, I think that’s what I love most about it because I’m a huge performer. I love to perform, so this song kinda gives me the chance to turn up on stage and really commit to it. It can be an anthem right away.
Do you guys have plans for a music video for this song?
Josh: We do, we do! We actually released a lyric video today [see below], which is behind-the-scenes footage compiled into a lyric video, and then our actual video will be up, I believe, the first week or so in February, but we are filming it next week.
Oooo! Where are you filming it?
Josh: We don’t know yet. We’re trying to confirm. We’ve had a lot of different directors pitch some treatments for us, so with four guys and everyone at our label, it’s like, ‘Ahhh! Which one do we like?’ and ‘I like this! I like this! I like this!’ But hopefully, by the end of the weekend, we can figure it out; but there’ve been some really cool ideas, so we’re really excited. I know that there has been a treatment for us in the desert, in more of like a gritty type of feel. And then there’s been, like, a religious sort of take on the song, sort of similar to Big Sean’s video for “Bounce Back.”
Since this is the first official single, does that mean that a full album is on its way?
Josh: Possibly, possibly. I think we have definitely recorded 500,000 songs by now (laughs). I think we’re just sort of seeing what people connect with and then going from there. ‘Testify’ is definitely the focus right now, and hopefully, that blows up and people really relate and connect.
BONUS: Still wondering where the name Citizen Four came from? (We were, too!):
Josh: Coming up with our name was a process for sure. Just like writing songs, we all have different opinions and interpretations of things, so there were a million ideas. We ended up with “Citizen Four,” which basically embodies how we are collectively a unit combining different factors and aspects and culture and all those things.
Peep the lyric video below and then go download the song — available on ALL platforms now!