Idris Elba helps make new video for up-and-coming Ontario artist

Emanuel's new — and debut — single got a boost from the actor through the collaborative social media campaign #NeedYou2020.

Emanuel's debut single got a boost from the actor through a collaborative social media campaign

London, Ontario's Emanuel is set to release his debut EP, Alt Therapy — Series 1: Disillusion, this spring. (Matt Barnes)

Emerging R&B artist Emanuel released his debut single, "Need You," on April 6, and followed with the official video for the song a week later — with a little help from friend Idris Elba.

The actor and DJ, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 16 and was asymptomatic during his quarantine, sent a call out for pictures and videos over Instagram on the day Emanuel's debut single was officially released. In the video, he asked for a "pictorial collage of the one thing that people need to get through this time."

"For me, it's definitely been [wife] Sabrina ... it could be your partner, it could be the view from your window, it could be your favourite tea cup, it could be whatever," continued Elba, who is credited as creative director of the video.

People responded in large numbers, with more than 4,500 submissions coming in from more than 20 countries. In the video for "Need You," the London, Ont., artist longingly sings, "I feel I need you to breathe" as photos of loved ones, the outdoors and particularly coveted spaces like hammocks flash by on a TV screen that the singer's watching, presumably from his place of social isolation. It's a touching tribute to small moments of positivity, which might feel fleeting during a pandemic.

Emanuel is set to release his debut EP, Alt Therapy — Series 1: Disillusion, this spring.

Watch the video below. Spoiler alert: there is, indeed, a favourite tea cup.