• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Nigerian music video directors: Afrobeats unsung heroes

Nigerian music video directors: Afrobeats unsung heroes

Music creators may now convey a concept of how their music should feel when visualized, thanks to the advent of streaming technology. While most of the credit is given to the artists for their performances, the music video directors who provide the world viewers a visual representation of Afrobeats are frequently overlooked as unsung heroes of the visuals.

Many music videos have narrative and performance, and directors are tasked with setting the tone for the video’s look and feel; it’s all about the colors, visuals, and energy that affect the audience.

What happens around the music video elevates it, such as the custom design, the location or set look, the choreography, and what will remain in the minds of viewers are the things such as camera moves, exciting colors, and startling visuals.

Visuals are crucial, and the combination of music and cinema creates an unforgettable content experience for the listener. They can be good on their own, but they need to work together to achieve the full potential of the message they’re attempting to convey.

Speaking with BusinessDay on how essential video directors are to the music industry, Adetula Adebowale, also known as king Tula, a cinematographer, with critical works with Nigerian artist Joeboy, said that making a music video allows the artist to genuinely trigger the mindset of people to portray whatever they want.

“Video is not dying, it is still there, and it will forever be there, ’cause that’s where we do the documentation of everything you want to get across. Once an artist drops a single, the artist immediately releases a video version of the song; this is very intentional as it’s the piece that puts the puzzle of what the artist is trying to paint. The director is there to give a visual representation of what it is the artist has already painted with words in the lyrics of the song,” Adebowale said.

Read also: Buju acquires music NFT as Afrobeats meets the metaverse

This professional area pays well, as they are compensated generously for their visual contributions to recently released music. Portable, a rising Nigerian singer, recently took to social media to thank Olamide, another Nigerian artist, for paying TG Omori N8 million for the video of his latest 2021 hit song Zazoo.

Speaking about the business of music videos in Nigeria, Jeff (not real name), an artist manager in the Nigerian music industry, told BusinessDay that artists pay music video directors N3 million to N12 million for a music video shoot, and these depend on the amount of work the video director would want to create.

“Videographers can charge based on what will be in the videos or how creative they want the videos to look. The energy and quality of equipment you are bringing into your videos, filming, location, the set design cost much,” Adebowale added.

He stated that the artist pays for building it to bring the songs to life and associates it with the musician as the main character. “Trying to change who you are or perceive yourself the way you are today takes much work. Everything boils down to the artist’s ability to look a specific way, and all of these are costly to produce,”

Some people might argue that music videos are just a promotional tool that the music is better without them, and they could limit what they can imagine when listening to the songs. But it has over the years shown its importance by helping the artist project an image of the story it had to tell.

Most recently, after the release of Victony and Mayorkun’s Holy Father music video, social media went crazy over the amount of creativity that went into the video, which was directed by TG Omori, who is popularly known as Boy Director, the video see Victony in a crashed plane which could be a call back to the singer’s ghastly accident back in April 2021 with Mayorkun driving to the supposed scene to rescue him.

Boy Director was given to Omori as a nickname after taking professional video directing at the age of 18 and graduating from PEFTI Film Institute, making him one of Nigeria’s youngest professional filmmakers at the time.

Some of his most recent works include Ckay’s ‘Love Nwantiti’ North African Remix video, which has gotten over 57 million views on YouTube, Billionaire by Teni, Nobody by DJ Neptune, Question by Don Jazzy and Burna Boy,

Speaking on the changes in the production of music videos over the past decade, Adebowale said, “There are no changes, the only changes we are using is the camera we are using the light we are using, day and night light can be recreated, everything we are doing now has been done in the past, these stories have been here, our generations are just seeing it now. Now we have access to recreate what has been done before and add more sources which makes it ours,”

Clarence Peters, Akin Alabi, Oladapo Fagbenle, also known as Daps, Buari Olalekan Oluwasegun or Unlimited L.A, Meji Alabi, Director K, Sesan, and others are among the top creative directors in the industry. They have helped music videos reach new heights while also breaking the barrier of foreign misconceptions about how Afrobeats is visually represented.