Ahead of the release of her forthcoming EP Opia, Toronto R&B singer Savannah Ré recently dropped her new single “Where You Are.” Following up on recent single “DVP,” this new single similarly finds Ré taking charge of her romantic situation.
“Where You Are” sees Ré thematically navigating the emotional rollercoaster of a long-distance relationship, though her outpouring is anything but aimless and helpless. Lyrically, Ré dispenses with the formalities and outlines bluntly unapologetic amorous instructions to her partner fraught with pent-up tension. Undergirding those frank emotional lyrics, multi-platinum Toronto producer Boi-1da and frequent collaborator Allen Ritter fashion a propulsive track mirroring Ré’s assertiveness and agency. The duo layer distorted yet melodic vocals underneath Ré’s versatile voice, conveying the sated release that awaits Ré’s simmering, latent desire. Despite the song’s seemingly effortless sonic execution, its actual creation was difficult. “‘Where You Are’ was not an easy song to create, it was literally what I was going through at the time, missing my husband being in separate countries,” says Ré. “What came out was a smooth tale of just missing someone so much.”
So when it came time to tell the tale visually, Ré tapped L.A.-based multi-hyphenate creative Brilliant Garcia, who not only directed fellow Torontonian Jazz Cartier’s inventive “Cuzzi Relax” clip, but also Masego’s ode to Black femininity “Queen Tings.” “She has such a knack for unconventional yet beautiful videos,” says Ré. “It was an honour to work with her and the best experience I've had shooting a video. Being shot by another Black woman is something I didn't even know I needed as much as I did. I felt completely comfortable and that really comes out in the video.” Shot in Jamaica, lensing the streets and the shores of the island, the video not only captures the beauty and culture of its location, but also adds to the theme of finding connection across distances, which resonated deeply for Ré.
“Getting the chance to shoot a video where my family is from was also a very spiritual thing,” she says. “Having both of my parents from Jamaica and getting to shoot my first real piece there was an incredible feeling.” Garcia’s vision builds on the song’s theme by playing with the concepts of time and shared space—two of the most valuable, yet lacking commodities in a long-distance relationship. With Ré as the focal point, the video eschews relying solely on its stunning location to deliver a compelling narrative.