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Actress Records 'Love Letter' to Bed-Stuy With Pharrell Video Homage

By Paul DeBenedetto | February 21, 2014 10:31am
Abena Malika Remakes "Happy" by Pharrell Williams
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Abena Malika

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Pharrell Williams is getting the Bed-Stuy treatment in a new video making the rounds on social media.

The video, from Toronto actress Abena Malika, is a spin on Pharrell Williams' 24-hour "Happy" video, in which Williams and a slew of guests film themselves walking and lip syncing the song.

Malika, who splits her time between Toronto and Brooklyn, first heard the song while staying in Bed-Stuy in December. When cover versions began popping up on the Internet, Malika decided to perform her own.

"I was just kind of contemplating on how happy I was being there," Malika said. "There's some kind of magic, or something, about the energy of the place."

In the video, Malika dances down Decatur Street and Stuyvesant Avenue, lip-syncing to the song as she passes iconic brownstones, the 375 Stuyvesant Ave. Mansion and a sign for local cafe Bread Love.

The actress, who has appeared on the television show Suits and is making a guest stint on ABC's Rookie Blue this season, said the song helped lift her spirits, and she wanted to express that through video.

It was also an opportunity to pay homage to a place she called her "second home." 

"The video itself is also a love letter to Brooklyn," Malika said. "Because what the song was doing to me, Brooklyn was doing to me."