The Roots have shared a new two-sided single, but both sides of “Bittersweet” go much further than your run-of-the-mill songs. In a collaborative experimental project with Stella Artois as a part of the beer’s Host One to Remember campaign, the band wrote “Bittersweet” with the aim of triggering synesthesia. Synesthesia is the condition in which your brain processes sound as taste, color, and/or smell.
Questlove (who’s an active member of the culinary world) and Black Thought recently spoke to Billboard about their project. Discussing the songwriting process and how their approach to “Bittersweet” was much different than that of writing an album, Quest said that this time around, he was “only thinking of color.”
“To discover that all your senses are effective, not just one in particular like your ears or your eyes, but all of your senses,” says Quest of the experience, “This is really right up our alley. This is how we create music.” In order to complement the flavor of Stella’s offerings as well as people’s senses, The Roots also had to experiment with pitches and instruments.
Black Thought also describes how his start as a visual artist helped him understand one’s own correlated senses: “It’s weird what can trigger the beginning of a song or some bars. It can be a banging slice of apple pie or it can be smelling a certain perfume or something. I just know that I’m not crazy.”
Listen to both sides of “Bittersweet” below.