Mic Phelps' serpentine, nocturnal track "Waterfalls" now has video accompaniment, which pairs the song with stunning visuals of Iceland and Paris.
A fixture of the Detroit hip hop scene for years as both a solo artist and as one-fourth of Cold Men Young, Mic Phelps wrapped 2014 with the release of his full-length debut, a collaboration with producer djkage, The Grand Design. Keeping that momentum going, Phelps (real name Miles Stewart) is kicking off 2015 with the first video from the record, for the song “Waterfall”.
Serpentine, nocturnal beats merge with Phelps’ vocal delivery, moving deftly with a hypnotic cadence in the hook. In the verses, Phelps’ highly sexual lyrics flow with a fluidity, profanely poetic or poetically profane. The ambient tones are served well by their visual accompaniment — starkly beautiful images of Iceland’s mountains, glaciers, and waterways juxtaposed with shots of Paris and Leon, France.
“The inspiration behind the song was the smoothness of the beat and a little bit of herb. The lyrics were a result of hot, steamy memories of sexual encounters I've had over my time here on earth,” Phelps said.
The video was created and produced by Detroit-based filmmaking duo Andrew Miller and Jamin Townsley, collectively known as the Right Brothers.
“I had the pleasure of traveling out to Iceland with American Expedition Vehicles in 2012,” Miller said of the filming process. “We traveled all over eastern and northeastern Iceland for just over 10 days. It was in their summer week, which means the sun never sets so there is 22 hours of great sunlight then it dips below the horizon for an hour then comes back up. It was incredible. Even with the footage I captured, I could never do it any justice. Easily the most beautiful place I've ever been.”
Townsley added: "We wanted to explore a different way of portraying the topic of ‘making love’ as depicted in Miles' song. Avoiding the standard mold of showing the idea through a generally materialistic and chauvinistic view of a man singing to a scantily clad woman at his submission, we were able to show a more cosmic perspective of gender and love by linking a sort of journey of the masculine spirit to the flowing power of the feminine Earth."
Miller shot the France footage when he accompanied Jamaican Queens there on their spring 2014 tour.
“The scene where it follows a woman on a bike through Paris leading to the Eiffel Tower was real,” Miller said. “I met her the night before at one of Jamaican Queens’ Paris house party shows. She had traveled to Paris to meet a boy she was dating, but the day of the show he had broken up with her. She was really quiet and sad at the show and wouldn't open up about anything so I made it my mission. She eventually warmed enough to chat a little, but said she didn't like American guys. The after party was still going late and she needed a ride home. We had a rental car in Paris so I offered to give her a ride only if she would show me around Paris the next day which was Sunday and her last day there. She reluctantly agreed and we met in the morning and both had a really genuinely beautiful day. She took me everywhere, and at the end of the day, when she was getting on the train she thanked me for saving her weekend in Paris with a little kiss on the cheek. You just can't make that shit up though; now I will always love that city.”
“In the scheme of the whole album, ‘Waterfall’ is an expression of gratitude for women and all that comes with being close to women,” Phelps said.
The 24-track The Grand Design is available via Bandcamp.
Splash image taken from Phelps' Facebook page.