As 2019 comes to a close, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley “Declaime” Perkins have every reason to “Smile” — as they do in a video for that track, premiering exclusively below from their G&D album Black Love & War.
In addition to Black Love & War, Muldrow rode the success of her 2018 solo album Overload, which is nominated for a Grammy Award for best urban contemporary album. The exuberant “Smile” video was shot at Perkins’ birthday party — a backyard cookout which also doubled as Black Love & War‘s release bash — and at one of the duo’s music video shoots. And it’s nothing but a party, filled with family and friends, including special appearances by Jay Versace and retired Chicago Bulls all-star B.J. Armstrong, as well as the track’s featured guests Aloe Blacc, LaToiya Williams and Ms. Dezy.
“It’s really cool, ’cause we threw it like a family event instead of, ‘Here’s an album release,’ formal stuff,” Muldrow tells Billboard. “Our kids are there, hanging with Ms. Dezy. We had people from all over the place come and hang with us and we just made it a party and filmed it. From that day forward we decided to have our events be that kind of way instead of everybody playing grown-up.” Perkins adds that, “This is something different. It doesn’t have to be about ego or materialistic things and your wants and needs. A smile is something YOU give to somebody, and it’s easy. That’s what we’re trying to tell people here. A lot of love went into this video and song.”
G&D is planning a European tour during early 2020, with hopes of bringing the show home after that. “It’s a blessing to be able to take our thing internationally,” Muldrow says, “but I feel like the meaning of this record has a lot of life, too, here at home. It’s rewarding to see people are opening their minds to music that has a message. We’re really thankful people are approaching our sound with an open heart, ’cause I love this record. It’s everything we could have done; I don’t think we left a stone unturned as far as aesthetic, sound, message. I feel like it’s all there.”
As for Overload‘s Grammy nomination, Muldrow says it’s “definitely a surprise. I got awakened by Dudley early in the morning; I think I was so tired I didn’t know what he was talking about. And then my phone started going crazy. It’s great, though. I’m really just happy for the opportunities it may open up.”