Even though Reggie Watts‘ primary role on The Late Late Show is as James Corden’s bandleader, it can still be easy to forget that Watts is a supremely talented musician, singer, and musical improviser. He’s appeared on songs here and there over the years (Flight Facilities’ funky “Sunshine” is a personal favorite), and his former band Maktub has released a few albums, but we haven’t seen musical Watts in a big way in years now.
That’s changed now, though, since he just released his first single as part of a new duo with Austrian producer John Tejada: Listen to “Runnin'” by Wajatta (a combination of their names) below.
There’s no word yet on when or if a full album is set to follow, but the soulful house track we already have combines Watts’ improvisational singing and looping with Tejada’s electronic production skills, so it would be a joy if there was more to come. Watts says that the collaboration works so well because Tejada, who he previously met at one of the producer’s shows in Los Angeles “a while back,” has a similar quick-working mindset:
“I explained that I love to work improvisationally and quickly in the moment. John fortunately has a fast mind and also works in this way, so as soon as we started recording, it just worked immediately; me being able to just flow what was in my head in response to his music and him locking onto that and crafting something great around/with it. […] I’m so excited to finally release music that I think will inspire people to move and expand on the dance floor or groove in their headphones.”
Tejada says of working with Watts:
“Reggie and I met at one of my shows last winter and we began work on our collaborations soon after. ‘Runnin” was a work that was actually started by Reggie live on The Lot Radio Brooklyn. Reggie gave me access to all his looper files and I added my own synth and drums to it, layered some more Reggie and away we went.”
Listen to “Runnin'” above, and revisit our interview with Watts here.