At the top of 2016, I shot my first music video with LA-native producer/DJ Mohdalsoul and Irvington emcee MoRuf, all located in the South Ward of Newark. The song “Viewtiful Fish,” is the last track off of Mohdalsoul’s Pisces Loops, his latest EP released through Vibe Music Collective. The shimmery and refreshing track is sampled from Brazilian Bossa Nova, a fusion of samba and jazz, mashed with signature asymmetrical drums and kicks, layered with the funky wordplay of MoRuf for a lustre finish. Together we designed a narrative that would marry these sonic elements with an optical precision that maintains balance between the fun and the lyrical.
The concept was driven by Mohdalsoul’s original vision for the beat itself. He states:
“I made this beat because I yearned to be somewhere else in the world…[the beat] was actually just sitting in my archives I sent to MoRuf once and he chose this one, and he painted a better picture to bring it all to life.”
And with that, the shared vision of Mohdalsoul and MoRuf was translated through my lens to build a minimalist but meaningful storyline from being inspired by their immediate environment, incorporating the silent cameo of a familiar and much adorned muse, Newark singer-songwriter Billzegypt, whose appearance was used to bring a layered dimension to the rhetorical narrative.
As for my personal experience as a photographer shooting a music video for the first time, it sort of felt like asking your ugly step-sister to be your maid of honor – and meaning it. You know you have what it takes to pull it off, but simply based on the virtue that the risk might backfire is motivation enough to try and prove yourself otherwise.
Well, aside from my horrible metaphor of modern day kinship woes, enjoy the vibes!