Soul and jazz singer Mary Akpa muses on unrequited infatuation and that sexy, unspoken moment of attraction that can lead to sparks between two strangers with her latest video, “That Day on the Train.”
The Nigerian-born singer reminisces about the day she discovered true love while riding a train. Overcome with an unfamiliar rush of emotions felt after she “locked eyes ‘that day on the train'”, Mary repeatedly asks, “What is this thing called love?” As images of open fields and sunsets cut in and out of the video, Mary’s mind can’t forget the day she met the man that defines love.
Towards the end of the video, Mary’s smooth vocals and movie-like depiction of love are overtaken by the intense sound of drums and a group of electric guitars used to portray the depth of her emotions. This continues for nearly a minute before Akpa abruptly transitions back to subtle, melodious sounds.
“‘That Day On the Train’ started as a chronicle of a love story that started when I first moved to New York,” she told The Boombox earlier this year. The song is evocative of the way a casual glance between non-acquaintances can turn into so much more. Akpa admits that she’s not the standard New Yorker—she doesn’t believe in the feigned obliviousness that’s a hallmark of taking the train in the world’s busiest city. She doesn’t ignore the people around her.
“I’m the opposite by nature,” says Akpa. “So I met a person on the train who just shook my whole world and it happened right away. It wasn’t a physical attraction—it was a scene where your spirit recognizes a like-minded spirit. We immediately caught eyes and got off at the same train stop and started talking. Sometimes when you’re completely overwhelmed with love for someone it’s chaotic and out of control. But it moves into a place where things are completely settled.”
Watch Mary Akpa’s new video above.