Uffie defined an entire era of early 2000s music and now the icon is entering a brand new one. After a brief hiatus, despite staying busy co-writing for other artists (like Greyson Chance and VINCINT), Uffie is back with a solo single released through Toro y Moi's label, Company Records. The track is called "cool" and lives up to its title, with groovy production and a chorus that's as nonchalant as the lyrics. "Cool," she repeats, effortlessly, above a fresh bass line. "Kissing by the pool, life's a disco."
For Uffie, the song is "about being co-dependent in an emotionally detached whirlwind of a relationship," as she says, explaining how a fast-paced life of "surface" experiences ultimately left her feeling naïve. "When I paused in the eye of the storm to look around, I realized it was all rooted in toxicity. Sometimes you decide to walk away, others you just say 'cool' and close your eyes."
Co-writers Axident and Lokøy compared "cool" to the Michelle Pfeiffer dance scene in Scarface and used that to inspire its Mynxii White-directed visual. Uffie is shot by herself, wrapped in "a world of nothing but excess" to show how lonely that can be. "We chose to lean in to the pain of such an isolating time in order to understand the things that matter most," Uffie says. "Togetherness and deeper relationships between one another."
So get into Uffie's latest chapter with "cool," below, shot entirely while in lockdown. "I hope that it can be as strangely healing for others as it was for me," she says.
What made you decide to sign with Toro y Moi's label?
Chaz (of Toro y Moi) is someone I love and respect as an artist and human. He approaches his craft in a kindred way to myself, and the label has that community and squad feeling I think a lot of companies lack in music. To get to create on your terms, with the guidance of a home you 100% trust is a beautiful opportunity. The stars aligned and it felt right.
Has this partnership impacted the music that's coming out next?
Chaz being familiar with my past, as well as understanding my future vision has given me a confidence to fully explore the extent of my vision and dreams while staying true to myself. I think when we feel safe and free, we're able to push ourselves and our art to a whole new level sonically, as well as visually.
How do you think "cool" is a strong reflection of where you're at, right now?
I've always felt I'm a punk at heart, and bringing in a bass-led chorus (with a producer that was a bassist in a punk band) really opened up that side of me, while connecting with where my mind had been, lyrically. It's the first song I'd made in a long time that felt as exciting and fresh as my first works to me, and solidifies a new era and rebirth. It slaps.
"It's the first song I'd made in a long time that felt as exciting and fresh as my first works to me, and solidifies a new era and rebirth."
Who'd you work with "cool" on? What was the process like for creating this single?
I'd had some of the lyrics already, but during a random session with Axident and Lokøy, where we weren't sure for what or who we were writing, they started to make sense in a new way. I work from a very visual place, and Axident is such a fabulous character and dreamer.
While staring at his pool, enjoying rosé and jamming, the pieces came together. He mentioned how it sounded like Michelle Pfeiffer's dance scene in the film Scarface, and that juxtaposition of detachment while still dreaming summed up the emotion and experience of what this song is about. It was a really special day that planted the seed for a new chapter.
As an artist known for such an iconic sound, do you feel pressure to either break free or outshine that?
I think we all experience that feeling. You're thankful for what made you and solidified you to your fans, but it's also a ceiling you're constantly wanting to break through to beat and grow beyond. I'm more focused on the future now and challenging myself, while respecting and paying homage to that core that is my foundation.
What was it like working with Mynxii White on this music video?
Mynxii and I met on a photoshoot years ago and she impressed me from day one. She is such a talent and light, it was really cool to explore with her and bring our worlds together. It was such a fun and positive experience, zero stress. We shot during lockdown, where I hadn't been around people in a while, so that was very important.
I think the reality of what life was during that moment ended up being important and lending to the emotion of what "cool" is about. We were fortunate enough to bring in another female powerhouse collaborator, Lauren Gregory, to add that surreal element via oil paint animation.
Photography: Sammy Sartori
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