On July 20th, Childish Gambino released his reimagining of Brittany Howard’s award-winning track, “Stay High.” In this version Gambino and producer James Francies use strings, a drum machine, and distinguishable vocals to create a different sound that keeps the “joyful, euphoric vibe of the original song.” Brittany Howard’s Jaime was one of the best albums of 2019, and 2021 sees her releasing a full album of Jaime Reimagined, this version of “Stay High” being one of the highlights.
Gambino gained most of his following as a rapper, a writer, an actor, and – okay, the man has done and is doing a lot – but since 2016’s “Awaken, My Love!” he has continuously shown us all that his voice is and always has been his strongest asset. While Brittany Howard’s original is the quintessential version – it is her song, after all – Gambino reworks the instrumentation to one of his many styles, and this in turn allows him to make the song his own while showing off his voice yet again. The ad lib and harmonization he throws in are amplified by the production style, and there’s simply nothing to pick apart in this reimagining.
Of course, mentioning Jaime Reimagined without mentioning some of the other highlights would be wrong. “Stay High – Childish Gambino Version” is the biggest and best track, but the EARTHGANG remix of “Goat Head” is phenomenal. Jungle’s remix of “History Repeats” stays true to the original while becoming something uniquely Jungle. BADBADNOTGOOD’s remix of “Tomorrow” is absolutely fantastic. While Brittany Howard created something phenomenal in Jaime, Jaime Reimagined will open up its more experimental sounds to a wider audience, and ATO Records did a great job snagging high quality artists to reimagine the work of another high quality artist.
If you have a favorite reimagining or remix on Jaime Reimagined, be sure to let us know! If you haven’t listened to it yet, be sure to check out the Spotify link below. If you haven’t heard Jaime, that should be of higher priority. Check out the original, form your initial opinions, then turn them on their head with the reimagined version. Revisiting the original after listening to Jaime Reimagined will create a completely different listening experience.