Today, rising rapper singer-songwriter Paul Russell is sharing new track “Say Cheese” out now via Arista Records. The official video will make its broadcast premiere on Wednesday, January 31st across MTV Live, mtvU, MTV’s Biggest Pop and the Paramount Times Square billboards.
Russell’s signature feel good drive is written all over this one. On the inspiration behind it, he shares, “I wrote ‘Say Cheese’ on my birthday, a couple weeks after I quit my job and started traveling the world as a full-time artist. The song is meant to feel like a celebration – of life and of the fact that anything can happen. Take more photos so you can treasure those moments forever. So, ‘Say Cheese!’”
“Say Cheese” follows Russell’s highly acclaimed track “Lil Boo Thang” which Billboard raved, “it is impossible to sit still when this infectious ditty comes on” and selected it on their 100 Best Songs of 2023: Staff Picks list. The song has been streamed over 250 million times globally, currently sits in the Top Twenty on Billboard’s Hot 100 and has been performed live across the world including appearances on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Today Show, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, France’s NRJ Music Awards and more. On the radio end, the song landed at an impressive No. 5 at Top 40 Radio and was the No. 3 most played song across all radio formats in 2023. In the words of PopDust, “the Ivy League grad now has a hit on the Billboard charts and a career that’s taking off.”
ABOUT PAUL RUSSELL
You’ve never met or heard anybody quite like Paul Russell. As a kid, the Dallas, TX native learned how to wail on trumpet in between spitting bars during lunchroom battle-raps and later crooning over ukulele (like the human equivalent of the dopest playlist you’ve ever heard!). His musical DNA is just as wildly dynamic as his personality is. During his time at Cornell University, he often DJ-ed at parties. As such, he knows how to get a party popping. A wide swath of inspirations—from Anderson .Paak and OutKast to Louis Armstrong—impacted his own creative trajectory. He gained traction with a series of early uploads and went viral a few times (even fooling the internet into thinking he had a Drake feature on the way once—If you’re reading this, Drizzy, get at him).
Settling down in Los Angeles, he released the independent anthem “Hallelujah” followed by “Ms. Poli Sci,” which generated over 37 million overall streams to date. He best describes his boisterous rhythms, ecstatic hooks, and buffet of R&B, funk, pop, and hip-hop as “cookout music you listen to outside with a bunch of friends.” That holds true on his Arista Records debut single “Lil Boo Thang.” Built around an interpolation of “Best of My Love” by The Emotions, it lit up TikTok and Instagram to the tune of tens of millions of views. He effectively delivered “Lil Boo Thang” as the perfect soundtrack to any and all good times. Skyrocketing right out of the gate and has been streamed over 250 million times globally. Now, Paul is kicking off the year right with “Say Cheese”. Beyond his status as a bona fide breakout star, Paul Russell is about to be your new best friend.