Paul Russell's breakthrough hit "Lil Boo Thang" was an upbeat tune based on a sample of the 1970s hit "Best of My Love." His new single, "Say Cheese," drops January 26, and based on the snippets he's posted, appears to also be an upbeat tune with a classic-sounding soul sample. Paul says making that kind of music is pretty much his musical goal.
Announcing the new song on Instagram, he wrote, "Nobody is making happy music anymore so I made this." And Paul told ABC Audio that classic soul and funk records were particularly good at that, which is why he looks to them to inspire his songs.
"I just feel like in general, there was a lot of really fun and happy music that, like, was celebratory," he said of older music. "I feel like that era ... there's so many good wedding songs that came out of that era. There's so many good, like, family reunion songs that came out of that era."
"For me, it's like, I want to be able to take some of those same feelings that were being communicated then, and do it in a way that still feels modern and still fits now, just because I don't think there's as many people making that kind of stuff right now," he said.
"So that's what I'm passionate about, and I love it," he added. "So, I'm trying to make it happen."
In the new song, Paul sings, "Say cheese/ steppin' out, purple Mercedes/ fall in love, why don't you make me?/ If you want a picture, just say please/ Oh-oh, baby."
The Mercedes account wrote in his Instagram comments, "We love when people fall in love in a purple Mercedes." Maybe we'll see one in the video?