Kelly Rowland poured out new single ‘Coffee’ to rapturous applause Friday (April 17).
Produced by Kosine and co-penned by Rowland alongside Syd The Kid, the delicious mid-tempo is the premiere taste of the GRAMMY winner’s first solo album in seven years.
That Grape Juice has had both the song and its Steven Gormillion-directed visual on repeat since their synchronized debut.
Now, join us after the jump as we unpack five reasons why Ms. Kelly’s sonic and visual comeback is everything we’ve waited for from her…
Melanin in all its magnificence took center stage in the visual and the semantic implications are seismic. Historically, problematic power structures have presented the notion of “the lighter, the righter.”
Yet, Kelly potently places the beauty of Blackness at the forefront – boldly reminding that stunning comes in all hues.
From the wardrobe to hair and choreography, tastes of Mother Africa were abundant in ‘Coffee.’
Black Girl Magic
An extension of the previous point, Rowland’s ‘Coffee’ served a hearty helping of Black Girl Magic with its accompanying video – a salute to the power of womanhood that rang just as loudly as the visual’s ode to chroma.
The GRAMMY winner’s latest eras have seen her backed by male dancers more than not, a move used to arguably visually distance herself from her Destiny’s Child beginnings while also asserting a feminine dominance.
With ‘Coffee,’ she swapped the messages of estrogenic dominion with a visual sermon on feminism, unity, and strength in numbers.
One of the most jaw-dropping moments of the visual came when the singer celebrated the female form by “freeing the nipple.”
As ever with Kelly, she possess the ability to tap into the sensual while keeping it classy.
Ms. Kelly is no stranger to a mid-tempo scintillator as a lead single.
Yet, with this pouring of music she evolves the sound in a more contemporary direction. What the track may lack in an obvious, on-the-nose chorus, it more than makes up for with its rich and memorable melodies.
Audio shea butter!
While not a household name among video directors like the Dave Meyers, Matthew Rolston, Director X, Hype Williams, and others of history, it’s easy to argue Steven Gormillion‘s growing portfolio and technique certainly rivals the best.
Having been courted by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, Ciara, and more across photography, music videos, and creative direction, Gormillion’s work has been lauded for its dramatic detail and emphasis on making colors pop.
Kelly’s ‘Coffee,’ though short and sweet, served as no exception.