Jay Saint's new video for "Basic" is a transportive portrait of queer love and emotional intimacy. Trippy and elegant, it's a multifaceted love song with a few twists.
The video finds Saint telling his lover not to worry about the past and to forget about old mistakes—because what they have in the moment is what matters most of all. "Why I'm paying for his mistakes? You're successful, you've replaced his bullsh*t for gold," he sings. "Let's blossom, let's grow. I won't run away. I promise I'll stay." The luxurious video has all the trademarks of classic R&B videos—bedsheets, smoky rooms, neon lights—but it's also unique in its portrayal of raw feeling.
A seasoned songwriter who's written for artists including Danity Kane, Fergie, and Sean Kingston, Saint wrote all the songs on his new LP, ExCommitted. His music draws on Haitian and Caribbean influences and brings them together with genres like trap, creating a compulsively listenable hybrid of R&B. It's tied together by rich and emotive vocals, which break through the slick production to touch on the complicated feelings that come with love. Perhaps best of all, it genuinely sounds joyful—the work of someone who loves music and who's determined to share his art and light with the world.
In the end, despite its emphasis on relationships, ExCommitted is about finding yourself—not in the context of a relationship, but in the context of becoming unafraid to show who you are at your core. "ExCommitted is about me committing to what I want in a relationship from the perspective of my authentic self," Saint told Respect. "I needed to be committed to the real me. By the end of the album, listeners will understand that self-commitment is way bigger than the situation you are in." Being vulnerable in love, as it turns out, may have been a pathway to being vulnerable enough to love himself.
Jay Saint will be performing ExCommitted live at SOB's in NYC on March 29th, as part of a show featuring only Black gay male performers and producers. Get tickets here and follow Jay Saint on Instagram, Facebook, and SoundCloud.