Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Royce Lovett’s “Runnin’” is a song that makes an immediate impact. The Tallahassee, Florida, native’s mixture of blues and soul, and perfectly emotive voice that makes you feel every lyric, is, simply put, enthralling.
Wanting to know more about Lovett, and his music, I caught up with him to ask him about “Runnin’,” the concept for the gorgeous black and white video, and meeting the legendary George Clinton.
You’ve stated “Runnin’” comes from the idea that everyone is running both from, and towards, something. With that in mind, what’s something you’ve run especially fast from, and what’s something you’ve run especially fast towards?
One thing I’ve been running from is the lust of life – it’s such a selfish thing – and in turn, or as a response to that, I’ve been running to the truth.
It’s so easy for us to be selfish – but at the same time being selfish can be draining. Working so hard to “get mine” makes us opportunists, searching for security, which means we are insecure, willing to step on others, or leave folks blind, as long as we can make it. I’m running from that … I’m running to the truth, because the truth sets us free.
Let’s talk about the concept for the video. There’s obviously a lot of running involved, but there’s a lot of emotion on each person’s face, as well, plus it’s shot in black and white. How did all of this come together?
When we talked about the concept (for the video) there were a few things the team and I really wanted to be painted well – the repetitiveness of the running, the questions and decisions, “where am I going, and how do I get there?”
I also wanted to make sure we had many skin colors and ethnicities, because everyone has a story, and we have to make sure we hear them.
One of the responses I’ve received has been from folks thinking the black young man in the beginning of the video was running from the law, or something bad he did. As you can see in the end, that is not the case, but that was another objective of having different skin colors in the video, so viewers can examine their hearts and prejudices.
We decided to film in black and white in order to push the narrative of the struggle. Not everything is colorful.
You have opened for George Clinton/P-Funk. Everybody I know who has opened for, or performed alongside, George Clinton and/or P-Funk has at least one crazy George Clinton and/or P-Funk story to tell. Give us the goods, Royce! Tell everyone your crazy George Clinton/P-Funk story. There is no way this was an average night!
LOL! Oh yes. There are a few cry my eyes out, fall on the floor laughing, stories.
So it was about 15 minutes before my band and I hit the stage, and there was no sign of George Clinton. It would have been my first time meeting him, and we all were excited. Goofing off in our green room, a mess was made, so we went to ask for a broom, and were pointed to the broom closet. We opened the door, grabbed the broom, and closed the door. Once the door was closed, it hit us … George was sitting in the broom closet in the dark.
I realized my hands had been inches from his face as I grabbed the broom stick.
We stood outside the door, whispered if we should let him know it was a closet, or if we should say sorry for messing up some kind of pre-show “get in the zone” tradition.
After laughing about it, and NO ONE going back in the closet, we went back to the green room for pizza. A few minutes later, George busts into the room – more like silent and fast, not loud and abrupt – and takes the slice of pizza my drummer, Cuffy, had in his mouth. He looked around as he took a bite and chewed it, then he swallowed it and walked out.
All that happened in 15 minutes. That's how I met George, and that's how we started the show.