Back in 2016, Gold Light and Grace Joyner (who are both currently based in Charleston) were living in Asheville, NC, and released a split tape containing the Grace Joyner song “Haze” and the Gold Light song “Two Left Feet”. The Haze / Two Left Feet split was the first official collaboration from the two artists, but they had been friends for several years before that. They are still great friends to this day, and nowadays regularly collaborate both on stage and in the studio.
Today, nearly two years after the release of that split tape, Gold Light is premiering the official music video for “Two Left Feet”. To get some background on the song, which features some vocals from Grace Joyner, I linked up with Gold Light’s Joe Chang for a quick Q&A. Kempson Bellington, the filmmaker who created the video, also chimed in with some thoughts of his own.
Read the Q&A below, and watch the video for “Two Left Feet” below that.
Chris Huber: I know the song came out as part of a split with Grace Joyner back in 2016, but do you plan to put it on a future EP or album?
Joe Chang: Yeah, it came out some time ago as a single / cassette split with Grace. I was thinking to release it on a future album, but it doesn’t really fit on the next couple ones I’m making. The big reason it’s sorta coming to the front burner again is because this filmmaker from Charlotte, Kempson Bellington, discovered the song and got in touch with me about an idea he had for a music video.
Where was the video shot?
JC: Kempson shot it himself on location in Charlotte, NC. I normally only like to make videos myself for any of my songs, so as to have control over them, but he wrote me with an idea he had and it seemed like he had a very specific vision for it, and it happened to be pretty close to an idea I had in mind to make, actually probably better. I gave him some of the ideas I had so the video sort of melded those ideas together. But yeah, he shot and put the whole thing together himself. I was completely hands-off, and I think it turned out great.
Kempson Bellington: My close friend Tanisha Santos was a huge help. She found the song and sent it to me, she secured the bedroom and the bar in the video, and helped throughout filming – she’s more or less my producer. Scheduling shoots with actors (who are acting for free and who have their own jobs) is always a challenge, especially since I work two jobs myself, but it’s worth it in the end. I am very grateful for their generosity and patience, particularly Matthew Barnes, the lead actor. From concept to release, it took almost six months to make this music video. That is not the norm, even for a busy bee such as me.
You work with Grace Joyner a fair amount. How did that friendship/collaboration come about?
JC: We met about 5 years ago now at the first Summer Shindig here in Charleston and became pretty fast friends. Only recently, maybe in the past 2 years did we start playing as a duo together, and then collaborating on each other’s songs and working together in that sense. It just seemed natural, we have similar ideas and work well together, and are able to give good constructive feedback on things. And then I joined her band on bass about a year ago, and she’ll sing in Gold Light sometimes.
Anything else you might want to mention?
JC: I’ve been writing a lot of classic country songs this past year, and playing a lot with my friend Beau (who goes by Snakemusk) and we call it Gold Light & Snakemusk. If anyone’s caught us live, it’s a lot different than other Gold Light live shows. But I like the idea of changing genres / different incarnations of the band. The first album was kind of classic 50’s stuff, then the 2nd one was more post-punk and synthesizers, and we’ve got a new one being mixed and mastered right now that’s on the country / folk side of things, and I have ideas for future ones that will be different too. I think when it comes down to it, I just want to write songs that tell stories and can be in any genre. I think there’s a reason the songs of Hank Williams or Buddy Holly still carry on today. They’re strong, simple, straight-talking and timeless, and that’s where my mind’s been lately.
Gold Light is locked in for a weekend run next month with She Returns From War, starting July 6th at downtown Charleston house venue The Embassy. Then they’ll head to Asheville on July 7th for the Western Weirdos Showcase, and then to Columbia on July 8th for a show at New Brookland Tavern. Joe will also be at Tin Roof in Charleston on July 25th for a solo set. He’ll be sharing the bill that night with Sun June (Austin, TX) and Grace Joyner.
Watch the video for “Two Left Feet” by Gold Light below.