Gabrielle and Burette Douglas, founders of the band The Cush, have been playing music together for almost 20 years. Their strong love connection allows for constant support through their music careers.
The husband and wife team recently signed with Mad Bunny Records, founded by Grammy-award winning musician Ben Harper, who co-produced their latest single, “Haters.” Through this new transition, Burette and Gabby have been preparing the release of their upcoming record, Riders in the Stardust Gold, due out this spring.
“It’s sort of surreal working with him on our song, and there’s no push and pull,” says Burette. “It’s just like we’re all in sync; we get each other and he definitely gets our music,” adds Gabby.
“Haters,” the first track to be released off the LP, was originally recorded as a stripped down acoustic song with Burette on vocals. After some consulting with their new team, it was decided that the single would instead be sung by Gabby. They changed up the vocals, threw in some bass and drums and just like that, the final revamped version of “Haters” was complete.
“She sang it better than I did,” says Burette. “Now when I listen to the old version, the new version blows it away.”
With humbling words, Gabby explained how the original, acoustic version was still so well done and that her version “isn’t better, it’s just different.”
For Burette, finding the subject is the hardest part about writing new music. With this single, he played around with a few words and ideas before landing on the title, “Haters.”
It can be a daunting task for artists to put out new music, because they never know how their audience will react to it. For The Cush, “Haters” came from the emotions produced from their jobs as artists.
“I was coming at it from where we were at—no matter good or bad. If people like it, if people don’t, we’re doing it,” explains Burette.
Anyone who feels like they have the outside world’s opinions weighing on the choices they make, can relate to this song.
“Everyone goes through life and we all experience times when people are hating on you. Some days that doesn’t bother you, and then other days it can kind of just wear you down,” adds Gabby.
The music video for “Haters,” directed by Justin Wilson, was shot in such a way that it would portray hate as an energy, which was not an easy task. Within the desolate, eerie location of the video, dark figures are seen lurking. These figures represent the hate following them around trying to take over.
“Sometimes we can get overwhelmed with the hateful energy to the point where we feel uncomfortable or not at ease,” explains Gabby. “In the end, you realize that there’s nothing to fear.”
Compared to the rest of the tracks on, Riders in the Stardust Gold, “Haters” is more intimate and quiet. As a whole, The Cush wanted this album to be filled with songs that you could sing along to and find meaning in.
“The album takes you on a trip; in a short amount of time, you definitely go on a journey with it,” explains Gabby.
The LP follows a pattern of some of their past records, because it’s clear that the songs belong to The Cush, with the psychedelic, spacey tracks that coincide with the more calm and serene songs.
Listen to “Haters” by The Cush, here: