Dubstep was supposed to be dead. After years of monstrous experiments by Skrillex and co., the genre was left as nothing more than a mutated remnant of its former self, hollowed out and left to haunt EDM’s sewers for the rest of pop music history. However, listen closely to much of the music coming out in 2017 and you’ll hear remnants of it everywhere; soaring peaks followed by sharp drops, warped melodies, even that throbbing, wobbling bass is making a comeback. One sub-genre of dubstep in particular has caught people’s imaginations of late, purple. Sat somewhere between cloud rap and ‘Midnight Request Line,’ purple has been used to describe everyone from Flying Lotus to Flume, and it’s now being revived by a new generation of RnB artists.
We’ve already seen the UK’s take on purple RnB in the form of West London’s JaJa Kisses and now it’s the US’s turn, with Nigerian-born and New York-based singer and producer Toulouse embracing the purple sound on his new single ‘Reach Out.’ Signed to Terrible Records, the home of Solange and Blood Orange, and having already collaborated with SG Lewis and supported Banks on tour, he’s set to take the purple revival mainstream.
On his new track Toulouse plays his vocals off of a dynamic beat, riding it expertly, filling gaps in the production with tender, softly sung moments and pushing his vocal chords to full strength as the beat swells around him. The accompanying video, premiering today on Notion, sees Toulouse wandering the woods of Vancouver, the scenery around him cast in pink, evoking the work of acclaimed photographer Richard Mosse. Directed by Jean Claude Billmaier, the video uses choreography to compliment the story of the track, Toulouse himself taking on both roles in a tale of a relationship that’s breaking apart.
Speaking about the track and video Toulouse said: “The song ‘Reach Out’ is about loving a dysfunctional and prodigal person even as they run from you. For the video, the camera turns inwards and frames the story as if I was the dysfunctional subject and what it looks like to lose, runaway from and eventually find myself. We often are our own worst enemies and with the help of Jean-Claude, we were able to depict a more graceful sensibility of that exploration using movement and set against one of the most beautiful places I have ever beheld – Vancouver, Canada.” Watch the video below.