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14 January 2019

Goodbye Sadness, Hello Happiness

by Alice May


Chaka Khan: “Goodbye Sadness, Hello Happiness” - 4 mins 48s

For those of us who frequented the neon-lit clubs of the mid-80s, the prospect of a new century only fifteen-or-so years away wasn't something we gave much thought to. What nomenclature would it even have? Twenty-hundred? Two thousand?

Who cared, anyway - as we bumped vast shoulder pads on the dancefloor to the anthemic 'I Feel For You', we couldn't begin to contemplate such an unknown quantity of a future.

So to imagine Chaka Khan still putting out hits two decades into that strange new world would have seemed crazy in the extreme. She was already such a stellar music icon that many of us vaguely felt she wasn't of mortal origin but existed on some other plane, that voice powering through the portal which separated her and her ilk from our unremarkable coil. At some point, we presumed, she would turn around and direct her vocals to another lucky world for a while. We wouldn't have her forever.

Yet it seems we do. While the musical landscape has changed massively in the intervening years, Chaka Khan is with us even now; releasing tracks that continue to get us on our feet.

Earlier in the year she released 'Like Sugar', with a fully funky promo by Kim Gehrig.

This time it's 'Goodbye Sadness, Hello Happiness' - a tune with a real 70s vibe that Sam Pilling has worked to the max.

Set in seedy motel-land, the night is full of working girls and their johns. A grimy phone box is a character in its own right; while bent cops, grifters and swaggering pimps all play their part in making the scene one to rival anything in The Deuce.

And yes, Chaka herself is there looking as amazing as ever... how does she do it?

We're not going to reveal any more, though. Suffice to say there's a plot twist at the end and some very heated emotions throughout. Props to colourist Simon Bourne for the vintage hues, and to Sam Ashwell's sound design which comes in beautifully as the situation winds up.


Commissioner: Ailsa Robertson
Film Production: Pulse Films Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Sam Pilling Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Sarah Park
Executive Producer: Alli Maxwell / Rik Green
Cinematographer: Pat Scola
Production Designer: Quito Cooksey
Costume Design: Derica Cole Washington
Editor: Thomas Grove Carter
Colourist: Simon Bourne
Sound Designer: Sam Ashwell Ⓦ @ 750MPH Ⓟ Ⓦ
Written By: Sam Pilling

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