– Titi & Lammy
The power of visuals giving story to a song is understood and felt by everyone albeit on different levels… I’ve put together a small list of a few videos I think you should probably, definitely see.
Anatii – Wena (SA)
Let’s begin with love.
A shameless show of love in various shades is all it takes to have a heart melt like shea butter.
The video starts with a voiceover by Noxolo Grootboom–popular SABC news anchor, charging all men of honour to respect women and stand against any form of abuse. She signs off the voiceover with her trademark signature ‘Ndinithanda nonke emakhaya‘ (meaning I love you all at home).
Anatii and Lindo Langa’s direction in telling a visual story to the song ‘Wena’ was a simple one. One that puts into perspective how people celebrate each other and express love for each other in all kinds of relationships, friendships and even family. The display of affection in the various relationships–the father-daughter relationship, the interracial couple, the lesbian couple, the newly weds and others–combined with the amazing cinematography makes the video entertaining, heart warming and educative all at the same time.
The video was released on the 17th of May 2019, the International day against homophobia, transphobia and biophobia and this adds a significant value to the socio-conscious idea behind the video.
Guda – Kirani AYAT (GH)
Culture! Taste! Location! Performance! Style! Cast! Statement!
I have a new found love for African hip-hop acts proudly doing their thing in their native language. Particularly languages that have previously been out of the real commercial space for very long. In Nigeria, my new favorite doing this would be Classiq who not only raps in Hausa but also blends traditional northern instruments in his productions.
Kirani AYAT from Ghana has my heart and attention, rapping in his mother tongue Hausa. Yep! Not just Nigeria, Hausa is spoken in a Ghana, as well as in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Togo, and a few other West and Central African countries.
Anyways, Kirani’s video for Guda – which means run in Hausa, is a blatant flaunting of sauce dripping from pulsating Melanin filled bodies that bask in the beauty of their cultures and identities while mixing colorful urban fashion & style in just the right amount.
A Pass, Rouge, Fik Fameica – Midnight Drum (VJ Edit) ft. DJ Maphorisa (UG, DRC, & ZA)
A doze of extra into everyday life in Kampala…
Burning the midnight oil to dance to the midnight drum, every form of creative expression; from the human/masquerade like creature dangling as if it was a chandelier, to the fashion and tech designers passionately working on pieces that look like they carry life of their own, to the thrill-seeking bike riders stunting through the busy night streets of Kampala past the seemingly everyday people, this video has made me friends with the replay button.
Something about the shots being so simple yet quite vast with the content they captured makes it all too clear for even an untrained eye to see the importance of synchronization between every aspect of production. Any faults in the video are rendered invisible by everything that is right about it.
Special mention to the designer or Rouge’s literally lit costume.
ClassiQ – Gargajiya (NG)
Come. Let Classiq take you through the very rich cultural heritage of Northern Nigeria where he is at the front line championing the modern music scene.
In the video for Gargajiya which means Culture, the leader of the ‘North Your Mate’ & ‘Arewa Mafia’ movement takes you on a visual journey through a few states in the north of Nigeria; showing off a few cultural peculiarities to the people from each place.
Classiq took this a step further with the creation of the Gargajiya (The Documentary) through which I learned a few things about the process of shooting the video including how he settled on the locations for the shoot; The Niger Republic, Kaduna, Bauchi and Katsina state where they shot a big chunk of the visuals in a traditional palace that has existed since 1348.
Gargajiya is taken off his debut album ‘The New North’ and is a delightful modern delivery of the classic Hausa sounds from the 50s-70s.
OBT – Baby (NG)
The idea behind this video is a lazy-cum-naughty getaway with your partner….
In this video, OBT and Lady G break into a locked private property to have a good time, while singing woozily to each other. Lady G sings about wanting to do nothing asides getting drunk while they explore each part of the beautiful property. The song is the lead single off his ‘Birdie’ EP that was later released in September 2020.
The video which was directed by Kyle White has a browny feel that sets a tone for the lazy mood that the song carries. It is an embodiment of feel good music in all senses. I’d hoped they would be caught at the end of the video but they got away with it (lol). Don’t try this at home, guys.
M.I – Playlist ft. Nonso Amadi (NG)
Subtle display of affection and companionship? Definitely this video.
M.I is on his romantic vibe and he got one of Nigeria’s finest lover boys to join him on this one. The video has a cinematic 70s feel merged with a modern vibe. Director UA did a good job making Lagos look so aesthetically pleasing. It starts off with the muse watching Nonso Amadi performing on an old tv from a minimalist rooftop apartment. She reads texts on her phone and fantasizes about her love interest (Nonso Amadi/ M.I), looking though her window and swaying beautifully in her room like an expectant princess waiting on her Prince Charming.
Another favourite scene in this video is the road trip, love how the muse was visibly enjoying her time with M.I, giggling and smiling from ear to ear throughout the ride. Talk about a non-sexual display of love and intimacy!
Aida Sock – The Highest (Senegal)
Aida Sock is searching for something…..
Aida wakes up in the middle of the desert all by herself and proceeds on a long journey, in search for something. Is it home? Is it purpose? The video holds a deep meaning that triggers a sense of self-reflection, you probably would ponder on your journey through life for a split-second.
During the course of her journey, she encounters a fortune teller, finds a treasure chest amongst other things that each tell a story about her journey or give a hint that leads to the next part of her journey. Her colourful makeup and hair play a major role in adding extra detail to the artistic concept of the video as a whole.
The Highest is the first single off her debut EP, SAHH (Soulful Afro Hip Hop).
Frank Casino – Sudden ft Cassper Nyovest & Major League DJ’z (SA)
The first scene looks like a mafia movie scene hahaha!
Frank Casino walks into a kitchen and his friends are seated on a round table, smoking and discussing. He reminds them about people who had doubted them when they started, how far they have all come and they reiterate on how they all succeeded independently.
There’s something about South African videos, their choices of location, simple yet superb. I absolutely dig the underground garage scene. Directed by YeahLenzo, it shows Frank Casino and Cassper Nyovest rapping about how they can’t be rapping for free in front of luxury cars.
Sudden is a song off Frank Casino’s 2018 EP titled Heroes of Tomorrow and the hook is the same as Lil Baby’s ‘All of a sudden’.