“Sounds Like Love” now looks, feels, and smells like love in Illa J’s new video that manages to stimulate all of the senses. As Illa sits in solitude reflecting on the love he feels for his lady, we can smell the smoke filled air and see the hallucinating effect a dose of romantic love can have. We can even feel the warmth as the mermaid’s movements compliment Debi Nova’s sensual vocals. The mermaid is played by Brendali Staana, known for her work as a former ballerina with American Ballet Theatre. The video was directed by Dina Juntila, who previously worked with Delicious Vinyl as a photographer and designer for many of their album covers. This is her directorial debut and she came up with the idea for the underwater shoot. Originally the idea was to have Illa underwater as well, but as Juntila tells it, “Mike Ross (Founder of Delicious Vinyl) taught Illa J how to swim for the video, unfortunately not well enough to get him underwater for the actual shoot.” Probably would have been hard for Illa to smoke underwater anyway…
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When Jay Dee passed away from complications relating to lupus in February 2006, he left behind an extraordinary legacy of production work, including hits for Common, Janet Jackson, and Busta Rhymes. One mother lode of previously untouched beats dates from his time working on the Pharcyde’s sophomore album, Labcabincalifornia (Delicious Vinyl, 1995). As Delicious Vinyl owner and founder Michael “Mike Floss” Ross explains: “From ’95 through ’98 Jay Dee was my go-to guy for hot beats and remixes. He was always making beats, always. So there was a select amount of tracks that he composed for me during that time, tracks as good as anything he’d done, only they never got used. When I finally met Illa J last year, I gave him a CD containing those unreleased beats.”
In a case of pure serendipity, 21 year-old Illa J had just relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles and constructed a studio built using Jay Dee’s recording equipment. He dubbed it Yancey Boys Studios in tribute to their fraternal bond. “Dilla was 12 years older than me,” Illa J says. “So back in the day in Detroit I was just a little kid, sitting on the stairs in our house, watching him make those first beats for Slum Village. I always felt my brother’s tracks and had an instinct for what I wanted to do over them.” When Illa J set to work in early ’08 recording the album, the project flowed quickly as he entered the proverbial can’t miss zone. The name of the studio rightly became the title of the finished album, Yancey Boys, which is available online and in stores everywhere on Delicious Vinyl Records.
“Sounds Like Love” featuring Debi Nova