Ori Dagan jazzes up an ’80s classic with his swinging revamp of Video Killed The Radio Star — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
A duet with award-winning veteran vocalist Simone Denny, Dagan’s new single is much more than a jazzy take on tech. The update of The Buggles’ 1979 chart-topper swings back in time to marry the Big Band ‘40s to the electronic ‘80s, giving birth to a bit of 21st-century musical magic.
“I was looking for a tune to do this with when all of a sudden Video Killed The Radio Star came on in a department store,” recalls Dagan. “I just thought, Eureka! Perfect! I love this song for being so prophetic, catchy and just plain fun.”
The inspiration didn’t stop in the store, however; Dagan also went shopping for a partner to turn the song into a killer duet. Then, eureka! again — Denny, the Juno and MMVA-winning vocalist and former singer-songwriter for ‘90s hitmakers Love Inc., landed on his radar. “I met Simone Denny in 2019 at an event,” Dagan shares. “I remember nervously asking her to take a selfie together. Growing up, I loved her voice and songs when I was addicted to the MuchMusic Countdown. She has one of the most beautiful instruments in the business, as far as I’m concerned.”
How did the desire to sing with Denny turn into reality? Dagan simply clicked on her Instagram account and sent her a private message with his request. “To my delight, she agreed to be part of this,” says Dagan. “Working with her in the studio was a real blast; she is a very generous artist. I have to confess, I had no idea if she could sing jazz because I had never heard her do it, but MAN!, she nailed every take! I loved feeding off her energy.”
While updating retro covers and jazz standards has become something of a signature for the Toronto singer-songwriter, Video Killed The Radio Star is actually the sole reimagined cover on his upcoming fourth studio album Click Right Here. In addition to this bonus track, the album also features 10 original jazz songs with the central theme of technology, and is set for release April 1.