Bilal delivers the live performance video for “Butterfly” – a weeping saccharine lullaby from A Love Surreal – featuring the dynamism of pianist and frequent collaborator Robert Glasper. The video directed by Brian Luvar features footage of Airtight in transit and onstage with his equally tight band as Robert Glasper’s vast and haunting melody provides a somber juxtaposition to even the most triumphant bits of footage – a bit of levity that allows the lyrics the proper context to shine. Bilal’s manager Hans Elder broke down the concept for the video and its significance during a recent chat:
This song, this album for Bilal and my self is definitely a labor of love. A love we have to continuously remind ourselves of. The trials of life and this industry in particular can be very discouraging for the most talented of people. And sometimes you forget why you love it.
After we captured the performance footage, as added inspiration, I told the director Brian Luvar that “Bilal is the Butterfly”. He then added B-Roll that I shot while in transit for 20 hours to Australia and during our stay.
Starting off the video with him leaving the dressing room with his son to the left of his shoulder as he heads out into the world. From the flight to the rehearsal, the radio station to the stage in Melbourne. We wanted people to feel the journey of growth, the journey of what it is to be Bilal through all that it takes for him to sustain in this business.
The live audio aspect was an element that was finally decided in the edit as well. Not many singers today, especially the younger generation, can actually hold down a live show, he can. So we thought it would be a bold move to keep the live audio to sort of challenge the idea.
The video for the track – the third after “West Side Girl” and “Back To Love” – follows the release of the project, which dropped in February to a mass of critical acclaim and an equally warm reception from fans emboldened by Bilal’s return to the stage with 2010’s Airtight’s Revenge. Check the footage below to watch the live performance video for “Butterfly” from Bilal and Robert Glasper. Purchase Bilal’s A Love Surreal LP via iTunes.