For all those fans anticipating the latest from John Legend, the multiplatinum Grammy-winning R&B crooner has a gift: the video for “Green Light,” the first single from his upcoming album, Evolver.
Legend probably never has to hunt for love, but the clip has him chasing after a beautiful starlet at a lavish Beverly Hills party. It may sound like it’s been done before, but Legend insists that the visual experiments he and director Alan Ferguson used distinguish “Green Light” from past videos.
“The song is simple,” Legend explained. “It’s just me trying to pick up a girl at a club and convince her to come have some fun with me. [The video] definitely has that story line in it, but we just take it kind of different places to do some unexpected visual things. We have this surreal kind of dance sequence, and it features synchronized swimmers and showgirls. We just throw a little extra twist on it.”
What exactly is that extra twist? Well, it’s actually a reflection of the song itself — the video meshes vintage and contemporary elements and sends fans slipping through time.
“We wanted to mix a current, modern feel with an old-school, classic Hollywood feel because the song has kind of a big-band quality to it as well as a more modern dance-song quality,” the singer said. “We wanted to mix the two different parts.”
“Andre obviously blessed it,” he said. “The tempo and the feel of the song are really perfect for Andre’s style. So I felt like it was a perfect match, and then he came and gave a great verse. He really loved the song, and he really wanted to do it.”
Though perfect for Andre, the quick tempo of “Green Light” is something new for Legend, who mixes it up on the upcoming LP.
“The album has a balance of uptempo, midtempo and ballad songs,” Legend said. ” ’Green Light’ is the most uptempo, but there’s a few other uptempos on the record. There’s a couple reggae tunes, a couple of classic John Legend ballads and then a few midtempo songs as well.”
Still, the singer isn’t straying too far from what fans are used to hearing, so expect Legend’s signature wooing.
“I think it’s hard to find a general theme [for the album],” he said. “It’s a lot of love and relationship songs, as people probably would expect from me. There’s not an overarching lyrical theme that goes throughout. It’s just a bunch of good songs, I think.”
And a bunch of good collaborators as well. Legend got production help from Kanye West, Will.I.Am and Pharrell Williams, and a guest appearance from Estelle, whom he recently signed to his HomeSchool Records imprint .
Evolver hits stores in October.