Johnny Nunez, WireImage
After creating the beat, Swizz looked to the two established entertainers to bring a different element to the global-sounding dance track. "It was all about the energy in the track," he tells The BoomBox. "When I dissected the track [initially], it was like, 'Who do I put on this that people wouldn't really expect?' I don't think people would expect me, Chris Brown and Ludacris to be on a track together that feels like this."
The first audience to hear "Everyday Birthday" was an office full of industry heads who all had colorful suggestions as to who should be featured. "I opened the floor for discussion like, 'Who should be on the track?'" he recalls. "It'd be random people coming through the studio and they were saying Nicki Minaj, they were saying David Guetta, they were saying Gaga, they were saying Jay-[Z]... People were going everywhere. So I had to really clean off the table because people's imaginations run outta this world."
As great as those ideas were, Swizz, born Kasseem Dean, thought carefully about how the visuals would appear and what sort of feel he wanted the song to portray. It seemed that Luda and Breezy were the perfect fit.
The video for "Everyday Birthday," set to premiere Nov. 4 on MTV2, was filmed in Cannes, France about three months ago. Director Taj TPK had to rework storyboards quite a few times before Swizz was satisfied. "First it was gonna be a yacht party," Swizz explains. "Then we were like, 'Man, we got this amazing landscape in Cannes. We have access to everything. So if we had no boundaries, what would we do?'"
"So that's what we did," he continues. "We took you from the water to the air to the party. We just scraped up every iconic scene we could think of out there and the reason I love working with Taj [TPK] is because I'll just be running and running, but he never lets me down. All my last minute fiascos, he's always the person to come through so that's why I stick with him."
On days off from taping, the One Man Band Man creator walked the streets of Cannes, people watching and learning the way of life in the French Riviera. "We went on some amazing tours and yachts out there," the Bronx, N.Y., native shares. "We got to experience the culture. I remember one night we walked from the hotel to the club where we were shooting and seeing the people just enjoying themselves, looking at the stores.
"We just sat back saying, 'Wow. We in Cannes doing it real major.' We reminisced on how the industry used to be about this -- not worrying about no budgets, no labels, everybody just having fun and being treated the right way.'"
He also says there was a good time to be had watching Brown and Ludacris brave the Cannes crowds on their own. "I could always tell when either Luda or Chris was leaving the hotel," he says with a laugh. "'Cause I could just hear the people [imitates a roar]. They'd start making all this noise and I'd be like, 'Oh, somebody must've just went out.'" Then I look out and you'd see Luda or Breezy trying to be regular but they can't be regular over there 'cause the fans are too crazy."
"Everyday Birthday" is bound to be a big single, however, there isn't a particular spot for it on an upcoming LP -- at least not one that Swizz is willing to give details on.
"I have a lot of things in the chamber but one thing about moments is that there's a time and place for every moment," the 34-year-old states. "So depending on how 'Everyday Birthday' goes, whether I drop the remix or go to something else, I wanna have spontaneous moments. [Those moments] where people know... they have something to look forward to on the visual side...
"I'm just doing unconventional things and trying to bring back that big, big excitement for singles and great songs. Just expect the unexpected, all the time."
"Everyday Birthday" is available on iTunes today.
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