The track was first conceptualized in the early 1980s.
Betty Davis has released her first new song in 40 years.
“A Little Bit Hot Tonight” is written and produced by Davis, and is sung by her friend Danielle Maggio, who is a ethnomusicology doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Davis said that the song was conceptualized in the early 1980s while she was living and performing in Japan.
“It was inspired by a musician named [Itsuroh] Shimoda from Japan,” she said. “I took the East and blended it with the West and we came up with a good blend for the production of the song.”
Davis returned to the track earlier this year, producing and arranging it with local musicians in Pittsburgh.
Maggio also spoke with the Post-Gazette about how Davis instructed her to sing the song.
“She taught me the song line by line sitting at her kitchen table,” Maggio said. “She told me exactly how to sing it, what inflection to make with my voice, how to phrase, everything! She was in charge.”
All proceeds for the song, which can be purchased at Bandcamp, will go toward the Betty Davis Scholarship, an annual award for a graduating senior who is pursuing music at Davis’ alma mater of Steel Valley High School.
Recently, a documentary about the funk icon was released. Titled Betty — They Say I’m Different, the documentary tells the story of Davis’ life from her rise as a funk pioneer to her post-career self-isolation in the early 1980s.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette