We’re excited to bring you the exclusive premiere of the latest sonic-visual masterpiece from The Poet, Havi – “You’re My Jesus.” We asked Havi to share a bit more about the inspiration behind the video and song.
“This song, this video, are both testaments to love. On the surface it is a clear ode to the love that exists between me and Kelsee (You can read a bit about how we met via The Memphis Flyer’s February Issue). But that relationship has only acted as a doorway to the deeper depths of Love, where only the unspoken languages of art and religion seem to capture the elusive joys of an Elevated Life. In my experience, the words art, love, and religion are all interchangeable and – just like the different paths up the mountain – they should all be explored by one who seeks to live a fruitful existence.
On the song: As the line goes, “I think you made me a believer, I think you’re really my Jesus” Kelsee has been the messenger for much of the Truth that life has chosen to reveal to me. I don’t mean to disrespect the Christian religion – or any of the other religions that I reference – but to give my humble interpretation of the messages buried beneath their doctrines. Every line in the song is a direct message to her and to God, through her. She really did go to Korea and kiss another guy in the club. She really did strengthen my faith.
I got the idea for the Hare Krishna interlude from the late Omar Higgins of Chinese Connection Dub Embassy and Negro Terror. I saw his band Negro Terror do a hardcore rendition of the ancient mantra at a local bar a few years ago and I was floored. When I was looking for ideas as to how to emphasize the song’s underlying themes of reincarnation, dance, and bliss I figured if he could sing it then we could too. I enjoy the Alice Coltrane version as well but it was Omar’s version that made me want to copy him. He was a brother to everyone on the Memphis scene and I’m sure I’m not the only one who could see him for a fat, laughing buddha; rest in peace.”
Memphis hometowner, Brennan Villines, made the initial piano melody that turned into the instrumental. He literally knocked it out in two minutes on the first and only time he ever visited Studio 88 and I’m excited to show him what became of it.
Kelsee’s favorite line in the song syncs with her favorite piece of her choreography at 2:40 when I say “La vie en rose, when we in throes, interlinking our toes / I be thinking when we done syncing our souls will we explode / or will we wither like roses in the winter only he knows.”
On the video: “This is my second time working with Nate Packard and Barrett Kutas, both of Studio One Four Three (we worked on Shea Butter: Heart of Darkness together). When planning the video I wanted to leave a lot of room for everyone involved to be as ordinary as possible. Whereas Shea Butter was heavily scripted and executed by a team of 30+ I wanted to show a more simple side of my art. These day’s one of my favorite words is melt. I tried hard to melt into the spaces left for me by all the other talented artists involved in both the video and song.”
Instagram sensation and Memphian, Markena Hughes, plays the younger dancer in the video. She’s a self taught prodigy and a born star.
“I hope everyone who watches it can see some beauty in its simplicity and can allow themselves to be inspired by our little love story. We all worked really hard on it. There’s a lot more people to thank but if I keep this up I’d be thanking the entire population of Midtown before I finished.
Happy Easter. Happy Quarantine.”
Like what you see/hear and want to support The Poet, Havi? We asked him the best way for you to do that, too. Here’s what he said:
“In this tough time for artists everywhere we simply ask that you support our studio by following one of our official playlists. From Hip Hop, to R&B, to Jazz, to Punk – we have a little bit of everything and we just want to share it with everyone who’ll listen.” Head here to access Studio 88 music on any streaming platform under the sun.