Jessie Reyez and 6LACK premiered their new music video earlier this week for the sultry “Imported.” The Toronto-born R&B artist joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 to discuss the song-writing process, working with 6LACK, and the first time she met Calvin Harris.
The lyrics of “Imported” tell a story of a complicated romance, with Reyez and 6LACK singing, “You’re in love with somebody else / Maybe I could offer some help.” When asked where the concept for the song came from, Reyez explained she was going through a breakup when the track was created. Lowe also asked Reyez why she decided to bring 6LACK in and turn the track into a collaboration, since the song “feels like it was written in that way.”
“Well, it was a collaboration because my boy JRM was on the original,” said Reyez. “And then we wanted to revamp it.”
According to MTV.com, Reyez and 6LACK have met at different festivals over the years, and when they had the chance to collaborate it was just a “natural fit.”
Reyez also said she’d been a fan of 6LACK and called him “one of the zen-est people” she’s ever worked with. “His talent level’s crazy and it’s nice to meet him and not get disappointed of what kind of person he is,” Reyez added.
While chatting with Lowe, she also shared a story about meeting DJ Calvin Harris back in 2009 at The Guvernment, a night club in Toronto that closed down in 2015. Reyez and Harris collaborated on Harris’ track “Hard To Love” in 2017, the end track to his album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.
According to Reyez, she went to the club with some friends, got up on stage, and waited in the corner until she could hand him her mixtape.
“He’s in the middle of his set and security looks the other way, and I run to the booth,” she said. “And I’m waving it in front of his face.” According to Reyez, the DJ laughed and wasn’t mad, but when security saw her Reyez said she acted quickly.
“I’ve still got CDs to give out, so I can’t get kicked out of this club,” she said. “So I just run off stage and I jump into the crowd.”
The 6LACK version of “Imported” will appear on Reyez’s studio album, which is set to come out sometime this year. Reyez will also be in Ottawa on July 10 to perform at the RBC Bluesfest and in Montreal on August 2 for Osheaga.