Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's home for music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
Houston native Inayah Lamis is ready to break some taboos and spill her tea. In her new single, "Suga Daddy" (produced by the guy behind Ella Mai's hit "Shot Clock," Micah), she gets real about the pros of dating an older man — and they go way beyond having a partner who is established in his career and well-off financially. Hey, Jennifer Lopez did tell us men are "useless" before 33! The song, from her EP S.O.L.A.R., which drops this fall, is unforgettable, in part thanks to a chorus that will make you chuckle and sing along.
When Lamis called Refinery29 for a chat about her new video, her hometown had just been hit by unexpected flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. It took a moment to locate her but, with assurances she was safe, Lamis told us about representing curvy women, discovering the pleasures of dating an older man, and why she just had to share this story with the world.
Refinery29: Tell me about writing and recording this song. What was your inspiration?
Inayah Lamis: "Anytime something impacts my life, I write it down and make a song out of it. This is based on a true story [laughs]. I dated an older man. So I wrote it down and couldn't keep it to myself, I had to tell the world about it."
I've also dabbled in dating older men and while I wouldn't say they were sugar daddies, I will say they took me by surprise. It wasn't what I was expecting!
"Definitely not, same here. I was so shocked when I slept with him!"
Was the chorus, "make a bitch come faster than Amazon Prime," something you already had in mind or inspired by the experience?
"It was something that he did! I had to put it in the song. I didn't expect a man of his age — he'll be 60 in five years — I wasn't expecting that! I think the chorus is very relatable, people know how fast those packages get to you."
How did you cast the man in the video and where did you shoot it?
"I wanted to make sure I got an older gentleman who was handsome, just as built and fine as a younger man would be. Once you say 55 and up, to some people it's just like womp, womp, womp. I wanted to bring light to the fact that older gentlemen have still got it. He has a little bit of change, a little bit of money, so I wanted to make sure I represented his lifestyle — how he treats me, how he wines and dines me.
"We shot in Hollywood, up so high! I was so scared. I'm a country girl from Texas and our earth is flat [laughs]. I was scared shitless. We drove up a hill for every bit of 20 minutes to get there. When we hit the top, I went over to the balcony and I could see, what seemed to me, was all of California. It took my breath away, I'd never been in a house like that."
What would you say to people who think that sort of relationship, where one person has all of the money, might be regressive? What has your experience been like?
"In this situation, which is particular to me, he understands that I have a life, career, and my own goals to achieve. We meet mutually in the middle. Now, I'm not knocking anyone who comes into a relationship and the other person, the sugar daddy, has more than the woman. Some guys appreciate needing to be needed. I make sure, with he and I, that I don't just take, take, take. I give and I take, and he takes and gives."
One of my favourite things in the video is your black bustier and red slacks outfit.
"Oh yes, I have to give all credit to my Los Angeles stylist on that one. Once I told him what I wanted to bring to life, my team really made sure that I had that for the set.
"I displayed my confidence as a chunky girl in this video. So many people have things to say about curvy, bigger girls. I feel like we're in a space now where we're able to finally have a voice and be free, and still be sexy. Particularly with the wardrobe, I wanted to show some skin, to show those curves, those back rolls, those fat little pockets I got underneath my chin and shit. I wanted to make sure I displayed that and rocked the hell out of it, confidently."
You absolutely did. I'm a curvy girl also and I've felt that change too, especially in how we show ourselves on Instagram.
"Yeah! I don't know what in the world, if we just started drinking better water or something, but the confidence of chunky girls now is a wave. I'm going to ride it until I can't ride it no more. I love how we're all just being unapologetically fat. We're walking in that shit with our heads held high and inspiring other chunky girls to know: hey, you can be sexy too. I look up to Jill Scott a lot. She's so beautiful, right? How she's got the heavy chest with the small waist and the big thighs and a pretty face. It's rocking right now and I love it."