Rostam Batmanglij, has shared his second single as a solo artist, going under the shortened moniker Rostam.
“Gravity Don’t Pull Me Down” follows “EOS,” which premiered earlier this year. This also comes after a departure from his longtime group Vampire Weekend.
The singer has moved onto collaborating and writing with pop acts like Charlie XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser and more. The video, directed by Batmaglij himself and Josh Goleman stars dancers Jack Grabow and Sam Asa Pratt. In a press release, Rostam explains the origins of “Gravity Don’t Pull Me”:
After the release of the Discovery LP in 2009 I began to see people posting videos of themselves choreographing sections of songs from the album. It was then I realized I really wanted to make a dance video.
In 2010 I came across a YouTube video Jack Grabow posted when he was a senior in high school of himself improvising dance to the song “I Think Ur a Contra.” I was really proud of the drum parts I’d written for the end of the song and I felt like he was able to capture those rhythms in a serious way—I got a feeling he understood what I was getting at in a way that I wondered if anyone ever would. In 2012 I finally got in touch with him about collaborating on a project. He was really into the idea, but I didn’t know what the right song could be at that time.
When I finished a version of “Gravity Don’t Pull Me” in the fall of 2015, Jack was one of the first people I sent it to. I was pretty clear on what I wanted – Jack to choreograph a dance to be mirrored by another dancer for a symmetrically shot performance on camera. He chose to bring in Sam Asa Pratt. The two had been in the same dance club in high school and I recognized Sam from a video he’d posted of himself dancing to the song “Osaka Loop Line” from the Discovery album.
The final version of “Gravity Don’t Pull Me” includes Sam and Jack performing the choreography they collaborated on and also improvised sections of the dance.