Bartees Strange Honors A Personal Hero With The Smooth ‘Kelly Rowland’

Bartees Strange has a debut album on the way, Live Forever, and his latest preview of it is a new video for “Kelly Rowland.” It’s a brief song, clocking in at under two minutes, but that’s all the time it needs to deliver smooth, aural comfort.

Strange tells Stereogum of the single, “‘Kelly Rowland’ is my peak hedonistic dream, if I had no rules. I was in Berlin, and I saw the most beautiful, talented, wealthy, amazing people, we partied all night and danced all night. And I was like, ‘I cannot believe people live every day like this.’ It’s this hyper-idealized vision of what I wish I could be, for a moment.”

The track actually samples Rowland and Nelly’s “Dilemma,” of which Strange wrote on Twitter, “Another song that will probably stick with me forever because I had the hugest crush on Kelly Rowland and I copied literally every stylistic move Nelly did as a high schooler. Band aid included.”

He also previously said of his music, “I’m often the only Black guy in the room when I’m playing in a band or working in a studio and I’ll be honest, I don’t think the engineer always knew what I wanted to capture, what I was trying to do or what I was referencing. I wanted a space where I could be in control of how it was gonna sound, and have people there to check me that I trust.”

Watch the “Kelly Rowland” video above. We also spoke with Strange in a recent Instagram Live interview, so check that out here.

Live Forever is out 10/2 via MemoryMusic. Pre-order it here.