Toronto singer-songwriter McCallaman delivers a stripped back performance in the new video for “Lovely,” a song from his April EP Boy You Better Sing. The Goldlink collaborator — McCallaman produced “When I Die” from The God Complex — sings to a lover, telling her she doesn’t need to hide from her natural beauty. His sample of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" is instantly recognizable but, while Wonder's original is about the birth of his daughter, McCallaman's chronicles a different kind of intimacy.
“No more doubt, free your mind, sing and shout, you’re so naturally beautiful,” he sings. It’s a reminder that sometimes it’s difficult to avoid striving to fit a constructed ideal of beauty. And in the subdued, black-and-white film video, McCallaman sits at his keyboard, allowing the focus to linger on the unique qualities of his voice. His musical history is rooted in gospel, from a childhood spent at church, but there’s a softness to his singing that feels quite different from booming gospel vocals.
“‘[‘Lovely’ is] an ode to natural beauty,” McCallaman wrote in an email to The FADER. “Beauty that's recognized by everyone except things said to be beautiful. Like lovely, timid flowers: if they could step into the sun and bloom. The song is about owning who you are and knowing that you are enough.“