Longtime friends, collaborators and Grammy-winning musicians Erykah Badu and Robert Glasper have teamed up again for the track & video for “Maiysha (So Long),” from new album Everything’s Beautiful–the visionary exploration of Miles Davis’ music, featuring reimagined interpretations of his music produced by Glasper. The track’s lyrics were written by Badu and were based on “Maiysha” by Davis, and the video is set for release this Friday, June 24.
The visual short for the song was directed by Badu herself and is based on her own concept. In keeping with the song’s deceptively humorous lyrics, the clip is a somewhat satirical, wink of the eye at the musical guest performances from classic variety shows of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. The star of the short is a neurotic, beatnik chanteuse named Sarah Bellam—one of Badu’s many personas–with Glasper as her tormented keyboard player and lover. The video also features a cameo by acclaimed harmonica player Frédéric Yonnet as the trumpet player (performing Miles Davis’ solo), and the track’s musicians Rashad “Ringo” Smith and Braylon Lacy.
The short was co-produced by Badu’s own Control Freaq Media, along with long-time collaborators Coodie and Chike of Creative Control Productions. With much more to come, this is Badu’s 12th turn as a director, having directed all of her own previous music videos. Along with directing the video, Erykah Badu and Control Freaq Media have spearheaded a unique digital marketing campaign for the video. Including concept, planning, art direction and execution, Badu and her team have created a series of movie inspired posters and other art, including animated gifs, that will roll out over the next few days. The campaign will also include exclusive bonus content, which will be revealed after the video premieres.
Everything’s Beautiful is out now and is part of Columbia/Legacy’s commemoration of the globally renowned music innovator’s 90th birthday. Released in late-May, the album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Jazz Album chart, and first week sales saw Davis charting the highest he ever has on the R&B Album Chart (#5), R&B/Hip Hop Album Chart (#10) and the Tastemaker Album Chart (#17).
The album is a beautifully crafted collection produced by Glasper, blending a diverse group of master takes and outtakes from across the incomparable Miles Davis Columbia catalog with an impressive lineup of contemporary artists and musicians to create original interpretations. Some of the featured guest artists on Everything’s Beautiful include Illa J, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Phonte, Hiatus Kaiyote, Laura Mvula, KING, Georgia Ann Muldrow, John Scofield, Ledisi, DJ Spinna and Stevie Wonder.
Everything’s Beautiful is unlike any other in Davis’ discography. From the familiar (riffs and passages within the catalog) to the obscure (samples of Miles’ in-studio instructions spoken after false starts), Glasper has built something unique but still unquestionably Miles. The album was executive produced with members of Davis’ family—Erin Davis, Cheryl Davis and Vince Wilburn, Jr. from Miles Davis Properties, LLC. The cover art was created by Francine Turk and integrates elements of Miles Davis’ artwork. With the cover, Turk creates a visual that is similar to the idea of Robert Glasper taking fragments of Miles music and reinterpreting in a unique and modern way. Everything’s Beautiful is available now via iTunes (http://smarturl.it/Davis_Glasper_iTunes) and at the official Miles Davis store on milesdavis.com.