On Wednesday night, Beyoncé took the stage at the CMAs to perform "Daddy Lessons," her country tune from Lemonade. Bey was joined by The Dixie Chicks, who covered the song earlier this year, and Too Many Zooz, the New York City-based band who played on the original song. The group is perhaps best known as the band from a few viral videos of them busking in the New York City subway — their image is heavily linked with their dancing saxophone player Leo Pellegrino.
On Thursday, following the performance, Pellegrino, Matt Doe, and David Parks of Too Many Zooz talked to The FADER over the phone about how the collaboration came together and the broader impact of the performance.
How did you guys originally end up on Beyoncé's "Daddy Lessons" from Lemonade?
PELLEGRINO: We met with one of her employees who showed her our video originally, and she told us she wanted to do some recording. We recorded a bunch of new stuff and ended up getting on the album. That's basically it [laughs].
When did you find out that Beyoncé would be performing "Daddy Lessons" at the CMAs?
DOE: We were on tour when we got the call. [Beyoncé's representative] didn't tell us that it would be a performance at the CMAs, they just asked for our availability. We cleared out schedule because it seemed important and everyone was super accommodating to us. It was amazing.
What was the rehearsal process like for the performance?
PARKS: We rehearsed at a secret location in Los Angeles earlier this week. We arrived and The Dixie Chicks were there, so that's how we found out that they would be involved. It was great.
There were some reactions online from traditional country fans. What do you think this performance means for the genre?
PARKS: The internet is its own beast and how people feel on the internet is probably different from how people feel standing next to you at the grocery store. There are no color boundaries when it comes to the limitations of music. That's an antiquated way of thinking.
DOE: I think people's discontent, or whatever you want to call it, is an example of racism and sexism. People have an idea of what they want to see, and if that doesn't fit their image of what they want to see, then people get angry about that. They're not discontent because of the music. That group of musicians is some of the most spectacular world-renowned musicians.
PARKS: The artists ourselves have to look above all of that and see into the future of the world we're trying to create, not the future of the world that we live in right now because that would be a very dark and bleak place.
We just got off the plane and haven't seen the internet really. But people on Twitter would hate Santa Claus. There's not a country artist in that building that wouldn't want to expand into the other categories of music and to be appreciated by those people. All of them would be lying if they said they just wanted to be accepted in the country community.