The Story Behind the Beautiful Unreleased Song From Virgil Abloh's Final LV Show

At Virgil Abloh’s final Louis Vuitton show, an unreleased song stopped everyone in their tracks. This is the story behind “Golden” by 20-year-old artist Elmiene

Virgil Was Here Louis Vuitton

Image via YouTube/Louis Vuitton

Virgil Was Here Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh’s final Louis Vuitton show took place in Miami just two days after his tragic passing, and the event doubled as a touching tribute to the late designer.

Like most of Virgil’s shows, the music selection was memorable. Benji B, music director for LV menswear and longtime friend of Abloh, curated an eclectic mix of songs for the runway playlist, like the Brazilian track “Tudo O Que Você Podia Ser” that Kanye West and Pharrell were seen vibing to. 

The song that attracted the most attention, though, was a complete unknown. Near the beginning of the show—at the 4:55 mark of the livestream—an unreleased song started playing that stopped everyone in their tracks.

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“Looking back at all my honest years, it just seems so miraculous that all those bright lights surrounded us/ ‘Cause the hours, they ain’t change but they seem painted golden to me,” Oxford, England singer and songwriter Elmiene croons on his song “Golden,” which was previously unavailable on the internet until viewers littered the comments section of the LV livestream asking where they could find it. The song is currently only available on YouTube, although he is considering releasing it to streaming services in the future.

For Elmiene, who hopped on the phone with Complex while finishing his last year of university, this kind of reception was completely new. “Golden” is the first song the 20-year-old has ever released. 

“It’s something else, because this is my first work ever that I’ve released to the public,” he says. “Even before I released it on YouTube, and it was just on Louis Vuitton’s YouTube, I was looking at the comments like, ‘What is this song with these lyrics? I’m really feeling it.’ And I saw comments about people really understanding what I was saying, and it’s something else, because I never had my work out there before. It’s a big honor.”

Elmiene. Photo by Charlie Sarsfield

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Benji approached Elmiene about using “Golden” for the final show just two days before Virgil passed away, making its inclusion even more eerily fitting. Beautifully nostalgic, the song sounds like it was made for the somber and reflective nature of the occasion. And while Elmiene doesn’t know for sure if Virgil ever got to listen to “Golden,” the impact of the meaningful track is already being felt.

At this point, Elmiene is just trying to take it all in. Since “Golden” is his first track, this is entirely new territory for the young artist, and looking ahead, he just hopes to continue making music that touches people and comes from the heart.

“If my first song did this well, and I feel like I’ve improved since, I’m just going to keep working on my craft. I’m such a beginner, so everything is really exciting. Every time I go into the studio, I’m full of ideas, I haven’t reached a point where I’m dried out yet, so there are so many things I want to try. Having this first song be the reassurance that I can do what I love to do will fuel me to keep improving, and hopefully in the future, I can come out with a full body of work.”

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