Behind The Lens – Sarkodie, Iyanya, Banky W

Nana Kofi Asihene in focus

Have you ever heard a really good song then waited patiently for the video to come out, only to be bitterly disappointed? We’ve all been there. A poor video can often ruin the enjoyment of a great song. Now, I hear some of you saying, “just download it from iTunes and avoid watching it!” I agree, that’s an option.

However, the ideal situation for an artist/record label would be to have a hit record, accompanied by an excellent music video. This heightens the hype around the song and if timed correctly, can be used as double-release. A video that goes viral today can change the lives of both artist and director. High stakes.

With this in mind, labels hire the best creative directors to construct what they hope will be epic mini movies. Short but sweet. To draw you in and then leave you pining for more. In this feature, we’ll give you an insight into some of the talented creatives coming out of Africa. Just as a producer will leave his personal print on a beat, directors leave a subtle signature to differentiate them from their peers.

Hopefully, more and more directors begin to get the credit they deserve…

1) First up is Sarkodies hit, Special Someone off his famed album Sarkology. He collaborates with Nigeria’s Burna Boy and South Africa’s AKA for the single produced by Jayso.

Behind the lens is director OJ of Big OJ Films, assisted by Nana Kofi Asihene.

Now this is what you call smooth. The video was shot on a location in South Africa, where the director’s captured the mood of the track perfectly. The multiple slow motion shots produce a nostalgic atmosphere throughout the video. They also applied faster paced images sporadically, as the beat quickened or to match the flow of the artists. Timing is everything.

It’s fair to say this is an excellent collaboration by the artists and directors involved.

2) Next we have Triple MG front man Iyanya who released the highly anticipated video for the Selebobo produced single “Mr Oreo“. Ladies, make sure you have a cool bottle of water on hand for this one!

Behind the lens is the young and super talented director, Mega Boi.

This video is much more upbeat, fun and sexy. Iyanya continues to make a strong case for being Africa’s hottest act. Here Mega Boi has a global female audience in mind, with beautiful women from around the world joining in the fun.

The use of bright colours and sharp background lighting immediately creates a beautiful summer’s day feel. Iyanya features in a Tuxedo, relaxed Baseball cap outfit as well as casual all white number. This is a sultry song and video which ticks all the right boxes.

P.s Is anyone else upset by all those scrumptuous oreos going to waste!?

3) Finally, we take a look at Banky W’s official video for his track “Jaiye Ori Mi”.

Behind the lens is film maker and music video director Clarence Peters.

The director places Banky W on a number of different platforms in order to communicate the message behind the song.

Firstly, Banky W’s presence on stage with a full choir delivering a sermon, reflects the fact that he has something to say. Secondly, his appearance as a seated member of the congregation suggest that he too is intent on listening to the message and can benefit from it also. In essence, to practice what he’s preaching. Lastly, the flashing lights, cameras and microphones reveal the media intrusion, scrutiny and everything in between which comes with being a public figure.

Ultimately, this seems to be a public declaration of strength. The Clarence Peters captures this sentiment perfectly. The message is clear:

“Live your life without fear of what people have to say, after all, they will say something anyway”

For more on the Directors:

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