The acoustic iteration arrives Thursday with a video directed by Scott Pilgrim, just weeks after the original hit major streaming services. Though both songs are solid showcases of Black Atlass’ incredible vocal range, the latest version takes the song to a whole new level—a much more poignant level.
"'Pain and Pleasure' is a continuation of the story that starts in 'My Life,'" Black Atlass told Complex. "It’s about a female character who embodies the spirit of Los Angeles. Her spirit is constantly present in different forms, she’s nowhere and everywhere at once. I fall in love with her allure and we begin a tortured romance together. The highs and the lows are equally extreme but I can’t live without her."
Black Atlass, who recently signed with the Weeknd's XO label along with Republic, shared the significance of the space he performed in. "Westlake is the first studio I worked at in L.A. and become one of the home bases for my new project and I wanted to pay homage to that special place to me. There’s so much energy in the history of those rooms, especially Studio D where we recorded this one, which was designed and used by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson for so much of his music. The piano I’m playing in the video is the same one that Quincy used on the records he and Michael recorded there. I think that really added an unspoken level to the performance and the story of the making of my new project."
You can check out the song in the retro-tinged visual above. Black Atlass' debut album is due later this year.
The original version of “Pain & Pleasure” was co-produced by London on da Track and Rex Kudo; so if you prefer your R&B cuts with a little more energy, you should definitely give the previous version a listen too.