The sun peeks out from behind a dark planet, and in its rays we’re transported to a surreal, dreamlike environment that will serve as the visual backdrop in the music video for Gino McKoy’s new single “Sensy Girl.” Beautiful women, thick clouds of smoke, postmodern imagery that occasionally veers towards the disturbing; they’re all essential ingredients in this melting pot of hip-hop beats, R&B textures and sophisticated pop grooves. “Sensy Girl” isn’t an experimental endeavor per-say, but it is definitely one of the edgier hybrid singles that I’ve heard lately. McKoy’s debut EP Lumina (a companion disc for his upcoming sci-fi film) is chock-full of this caliber of content, but if you want to get a good idea of who he is as an artist, this is the track that I would recommend above all others.
This music video is very stylish, and I think that it lives up to the erudite production quality of the music wonderfully. That said, as intriguing as the on-screen visual sequence is, its intricate construction still pales in comparison to that of the master mix. There’s so much detail to behold within each of the instrumental elements in this song, from the percussion to the synths and beyond, that it could be considered a little overwhelming to some (and legitimately marvelous to the rest of us). A lot of work went into making the levels just right in this single, and it’s no doubt the reason for its magnificent chill-factor, which has thus far gone unrivaled in the summer of 2019.
McKoy’s lead vocal is so sensuous from the jump, and it introduces an external R&B flavor to the somewhat rough n’ tumble hip-hop rhythm. This helps “Sensy Girl” to sound really balanced, which has been an issue for some of the more surreal output that I’ve been seeing out of the American underground this month. Diamond lays out some ambitious verses of his own in this track, but there’s never any question as to whose show this really is. I hope this isn’t the last time that they work together, because between the two of them, they bring a wealth of talent into the studio that could be further exploited in even more experimental ways than it is in this deliciously amped-up slow jam.
Pop aficionados have a lot to be excited about with Gino McKoy’s Lumina EP and its first single, the superb “Sensy Girl,” and while the mainstream has been producing mixed results across the board this summer, indie artists like McKoy and Diamond have been turning out the gems like no one else can. The late 2010’s have been a very eclectic and transitional period for pop music, and though the era hasn’t been devoid of hit-makers (quite the opposite, really), I have a feeling that we’re about to see something wholeheartedly evolved as the 2020’s come into focus just a matter of months from now. Gino McKoy is demonstrating a knack for busting out sensational beats on command in his virgin studio recordings, and that’s going to go a long way towards establishing his brand as among the more elite in R&B heading into the next decade.