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Tony James and director Isiah Blake discuss video for Sweat Slow
Tony James

Interview: Q&A

Tony James & director Isiah Blake discuss the “Sweat Slow” video

Tropical R&B. That is the term that would best describe the sound and visuals for the latest release from R&B singer Tony James, “Sweat Slow.” The song and video dropped last week as the Mississauga artist’s summer single, perfectly aligning with the ‘gotta take your clothes off’ heat wave that hit Toronto.

Last week, HipHopCanada attended the video launch party for “Sweat Slow” and caught up Mississauga R&B singer.

Tony James and director Isiah Blake discuss video for Sweat Slow

During the event, the music video was being looped on a couple of screens throughout the venue and I could not help but marvel at the impressive visuals coordinated by the directing genius of Isiah Blake who also directed Jazz Cartier’s videos for “Which One” and “Right Now.”

We caught up with James and Blake to chat about the single and the new video (which you can watch below).

“Sweat Slow” is available on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.

Q&A: Tony James

HipHopCanada: What is “Sweat Slow” about?

Tony James: “Sweat Slow” is about taking the necessary time to make amends with the one that you let get away. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and it can take some time apart to come to the realization that you were actually better off in your previous situation.

HipHopCanada: What message are you hoping to deliver to fans and listeners with this track?

TJ: It’s never too late to express how you feel for that special someone especially if you know it’s real. Love is patient and rekindling it should never be rushed. Also it’s about just being straight up with people, letting them know your intentions from the jump, no games.

HipHopCanada: What is the inspiration behind this song?

TJ: My producer/co-songwriter Quinn Danielis and I just wanted to write a summer smash that we felt would resonate with the women in our beautiful city of Toronto. By keeping them in mind, we were able to put together something with a positive vibe that they could all move to.

Tony James and director Isiah Blake discuss video for Sweat Slow

HipHopCanada: How would you describe the sound of “Sweat Slow”?

TJ: This song definitely has a tropical R&B feel to it. The beat contains bright sounds and we wanted everything on the production side to have a certain warmth to it to give the song a complete summer vibe. We wanted the melodies and vocals to embody that same warmth while also sounding smooth and effortless. When speaking to the one you’re in love with, conversation naturally just slides off your tongue. So during recording it was very important to us to match the flow of the song to the flow of that natural conversation.

HipHopCanada: Why should listeners give this song a listen?

TJ: I URGE listeners to give this song a listen for many reasons, for starters it’s a strictly positive song, I think we all have enough problems and negative energy around us. “Sweat Slow” has a positive vibe to it that can help you forget about those things for three minutes. It has the potential to become a summer anthem – whether your lounging poolside, up at the cottage, or driving down the Gardiner [Expressway in Toronto] with the roof down – it’s here to help you enhance your summer that much more. Lastly, this is first of many pop/R&B songs that I’ll be releasing this year and who doesn’t want to be first to support a new wave of Toronto music?

HipHopCanada: What can we look forward to seeing and hearing from you next?

TJ: My next release is still unconfirmed but I can tell you that “Sweat Slow” was recorded in February and I’ve been living in the studio for the past four months. We’ll update you when something is written in stone but, I speak for my whole team when I say we’re excited to drop more music, and that it’s going to be big.

Tony James and director Isiah Blake discuss video for Sweat Slow

Q&A: Isiah Blake

HipHopCanada: What was it like working with an artist like Tony and why did you chose to take the project on?

Isiah Blake: My past projects have been set in moodier worlds and I wanted to challenge myself and take on a project that focused more on high-key lighting. As soon as they sent the song to me, I knew it was something I’d be interested in because it screams summer. Working with Tony was great because he knew exactly what he wanted and felt extremely comfortable in front of the camera.

HipHopCanada: What narrative are you looking to deliver through visuals on “Sweat Slow”?

IB: We weren’t focused on delivering a narrative but more so a visual piece that captured the intended mood of the song. I feel like the song is filled with nothing but energy and character, and that’s kinda what we wanted to capture on-screen.

Tony James and director Isiah Blake discuss video for Sweat Slow

HipHopCanada: What was your thought process when laying out the treatment for the video?

IB: I usually go with my gut. After listening to the song over and over again usually visuals start forming in my head and I just run with that.

HipHopCanada: Where did you draw inspiration from to create this video?

IB: I can’t take full credit for the idea because Tony’s team came to us with a rough concept of how they wanted Tony to be portrayed and I just built off of that. We spent a few days exchanging ideas, photos, and references and that’s how the entire video came about.

Tony James and director Isiah Blake discuss video for Sweat Slow

Written by Maricel Joy Dicion for HipHopCanada

Tony James and director Isiah Blake discuss video for Sweat Slow

Follow @_Tony_James on Instagram, and check out the official site

Maricel was the host of HipHopCanada's "The Narrative Of..." and "Unplugged" series. She focused on sharing timely feature stories and thought-leadership content – the kind of stories that make you think, change and challenge perceptions, and provide valuable industry and culture-related information. Maricel covered select artist interviews, select music/video releases, events, as well as industry and culture trends and news.

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