Shai Nowell – “Sunkissed”


The just-released video for Shai Nowell’s track “Sunkissed” was directed by Jackson Laurie, with Shai Nowell co-directing. They filmed the video all throughout Atlanta, with inspiration coming from a visit to the High Museum.

According to the artist: “How the song came about is that when I wrote and produced the whole thing, I was listening to a lot of Pharell and was really inspired by it at the time. So I wanted to add that same syncopation to the song. I produced it then wrote the song, then recorded the reference track, sent it to Nai, then had Nai come with me to the studio to record it. As we were recording we decided that it would be better as a duo so we ran with it!”

Cameos in the video include social media comedian Hampton and rapper 6 Dogs.

The track features Nai Br.XX, who stars in a NetFlix anime in Japan called Carole & Tuesday.

“Sunkissed” begins with a thumping bass, with suave vocals – from both vocalists – showing excellent melodic form in the verses. The transition around the one-minute mark gives off soulful vibes, enjoyably reminiscent to me of The Style Council. The gentle key caressing and clanking percussion provides a lush feel, one that plays well into the track’s second half at the two-minute mark. Here, both vocalists interchange lead roles over the serene keys, as the track’s instrumentation fades into a hypnotic lull, until only the keys remain. This is a lushly accomplished, well-produced track from an artist in Nowell – presently based in Atlanta – who seems poised to rise.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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