Experimenting in simplicity, El Sportivo set out to make something that would unify and connect with his new single. A mission that began a couple of years ago, the seemingly straightforward task turned out to be an unexpected challenge and ended up being more timely than could have been anticipated.
On the heels of his Music for Marriage LP live shows with his other music project Nights & Weekends, Daron Hollowell returned to the basic song he’d begun writing years before and enlisted the help of his good friend and omni-instrumentalist Jordan Chini, known by his alias Boy Dude, to co-produce “Stay With Me.”
“Stay With Me” captures a fresh sound for the band while maintaining the haunting quality they’ve gained recognition for in the past. The chord structure may be classic and direct, reminiscent of early R&B arrangement and production, but they’ve mixed a sonic pallet of analog synthesizers and drum machines that hadn’t yet been invented when those recordings were produced. Thus was born a style El Sportivo likes to call “retro-future.”
In order to pull off the rousing quality of the song, Hollowell and Chini knew they needed an amazing female vocalist. They enrolled the artist Omotola Lajubutu to lend her powerful and compelling vocals to the track. Her incredible range provided the exact depth and warmth desired, further uplifted by the talents of the famous Waters Family (Twenty Feet From Stardom) and the local Silver Lake Choir. The resulting harmonies take the track to new heights, as does a blazing saxophone solo performed by Jens Bjørnkjær of the band Oh Future. Additional all-star track support was provided by Rusty Logsdon of The Eels.
The neo-noir feeling odyssey of the 5-minute single culminates in a resounding message of oneness; of all the tangible and intangible things we each possess – this night, belief and strength, each other, and this very song.
“Most importantly, this song’s lyrics and the people who brought the piece to life all point to an understanding that beyond all attempts to divide or separate us, we are ultimately and intrinsically connected,” says Hollowell. “It feels like the absolute right moment for this song to be released as we face a world in transition, where the old systems and structures are being challenged, and we have an opportunity to build new ones in their place that reflect our commonality and unify us. It is my heartfelt hope that we do.”