Behind the scenes features are a staple of television and film. Almost every DVD and Blu-ray released has some form of extras where we get to see what went on during the making of a project. We see the artistic process from the beginning, and the main contributors explain to us all of the neat things and bold decisions that happened. This type of footage is much rarer when it comes to music. That seems like a shame to me, as the entire recording process is a fascinating subject. Today, Canadian artist Lindsay Kay is here with just what we need. Kay released her debut album For the Feminine by the Feminine in October 2018, and one of the standout tracks was a rendition of the 1930s Billy Strayhorn jazz standard “Lush Life.” Such an interesting, nuanced track deserves a closer look, which comes in the form of a behind the scenes video on the making of Kay’s version of “Lush Life,” which we have the premiere of this afternoon.
Kay sits down in a talking head and walks viewers through the years-long process of putting “Lush Life” together. From a professor in college telling her not to do it to the inspiration she drew from Strayhorn’s life and arrangement, every aspect of the track is explained. There’s also plenty of footage of the actual recording process, which was done at Paramount Recordings. It’s fun to see the entire track come together, and the passion with which Kay talks about the project is a delight.
Alongside the video, Kay gave an in-depth statement about what makes “Lush Life” so special to her. She says:
“Lush Life” is an incredibly special song that I have admired from afar for many years. Written by Billy Strayhorn, it is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful compositions of the 20th century. I knew I wanted to include a jazz standard on this album to pay homage to my background and education in jazz, and being able to put my own unique spin and arrangement on this song was a true privilege and joy. With Brittany Karlson on bass, Lara Somogyi on harp, and myself on vocals, we worked through the song together and recorded it live in the studio all over the course of a few hours one November morning, and I remember that recording session as a very pure, supportive, fun, and creatively fulfilling experience. I’m so thrilled that the session was captured on video and to be able to share a glimpse into the process.”
Check out the behind the scenes video for the creation of “Lush Life” below.