Interview: BOOTS Talks About Reworking Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love" and Scoring the "Fifty Shades of Grey" Trailer

The artist who scored the first "Fifty Shades of Grey" trailer explains how it all came together.

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Complex Original

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Over the weekend, Beyoncé posted a teaser for the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer on her Instagram. Earlier this morning, the full length version debuted on The Today Show. The movie, which drops on Valentine's Day next year, stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey.

So, why did Beyoncé post the teaser? Her song "Crazy In Love" was reworked to soundtrack the trailer, which was all scored by BOOTS, the somewhat enigmatic artist who worked on BEYONCÉ and dropped a solo project, WinterSpringSummerFall, to a ton of critical buzz. We hopped on the phone with him this morning to chat about scoring his first trailer, what's coming next, and why he chose "Crazy In Love" for the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer.

Interview by Lauren Nostro (@LAURENcynthia)

How did you get involved with Fifty Shades of Grey? 

I just got the call, that's pretty much what I can say. I got a call from a combination of people who asked if I would do it. I jumped at the opportunity to do it. 

Were you familiar with the book?

The first time I ever knew anything from it was when I saw the trailer. I've always wanted to score a film and it was too good to pass up on getting experience in something like that. I had no idea that it was this phenomenon, I was not very aware of it. It's a very apparent thing that's happening with Fifty Shades of Grey, and I think that's cool.

For those who don't know, what goes into scoring a trailer?

Like anything else, unless it's you by yourself in a room, it's going to be collaborative and you have to be open to being collaborative. The actual making of the music when I scored it was an incredible day. I just went into a black hole and just heard it the way I wanted it to sound in my head and all the snares and shit are me slamming doors around the studio and kicking things over. Nothing was a drum sample in that and everything suddenly started having this breathing life and started feeling more than just a regular song. With the strings that Margo did, it just took it over the top. The instrumentals was just me, Margot did the strings, Bey killed it with her voice, and the dopest thing was that I got to mix the trailer with the people at Universal who are killing it. We basically did it in a sound stage but it's a fucking movie theater. You get to mix sound in a movie theater. It's the craziest shit I've ever heard. 

Where did you draw inspiration from when creating the score?

Equal parts eagerness to do a good job and the trailer was just super sexy. It was a cat and mouse thing happening in the trailer and I felt that it needed to feel that way in the build of the score. 

Why did you choose that song for the trailer?

It just fits. I like to think of myself as more than just a producer. I look at what we did for the trailer and this version of the song is, very much in my opinion, a score. It was something that I consciously scored. Whenever it comes to the stuff that Bey and I do, I'll never speak for her, but I think that she killed it. She just absolutely killed it. The acapellas that she did gives me chills, so it's really dope.

Are you working on the soundtrack, as well?

That's not really anything I can mention right now but the soundtrack is going to be really dope. They just started with the promotion of the film. Everything that's going to come after this is going to get better.

Can we expect new music from you and Beyonce? 

There's a lot of shit that's coming up. I just jumped into the studio this whole time. I'm in the studio everyday for two weeks, just writing for my own full-length. But everything else, I'm disappearing into the ether for the summer right now. I had to take a break a little bit from the Internet world. 

There's so much S&M in this book, how does it feel to create an S&M anthem?

Is there a lot of S&M? [Laughs.] That's what I just did? [Laughs.] I think it was just falling in love can make you do crazy shit. That was the spirit of the original song in the first place, we flipped it and it kind of became a whole thing. This is the first time I've ever worked on a trailer.

Can we expect more soon?

You'll have to just wait and see. 

And you're working on your full length debut?

Yeah. I'm really excited. I'm intensely excited, I'm going to drop it when I drop it but I'm planning to release it through a label. We're going to get real. We're going to get weird about it. 

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