We talked to Taz Tron Delix about his latest video for Oscar Worldpeace, a richly visual accompaniment to the artist's powerful opus on black consciousness and cultural oppression, No White God.
It's the director's third video for Worldpeace, and it's just been listed in the 'Ten of the best recent music videos' by the Financial Times.
When did you first hear the track and what’s your take on the song?
Oscar sent me a few tracks in November and as soon as I heard “No White God” I knew I wanted to make a video for it. It was powerful, honest and emotionally charged and with great music, the more I meditated with the track I had different thoughts, images, meanings and conversations coming to mind.
I was thinking: imagine, you grow up your whole life and people are telling you there is this almighty presence that lives in the sky whose created everything - he looks nothing like you and yet looks everything like your oppressor. As these thoughts unravelled, it made me question how many times approaches of documenting religion or history has been manipulated, tarnished and destroyed over the ages to dominate power over race or heritage.
I took this song to be a dismantlement of these faults and a re-alignment to the true narrative for black bodies and minds.
"Over the course of our projects we have definitely created a kind of synergy when approaching imagery to reflect his music." Taz Tron Delix
How did you arrive at the treatment that appealed to Oscar? Was your prior relationship with Oscar helpful in creating the idea?
Oscar gave me the track quite a while ago and different images kept popping into my head, changing and shifting. I would phone Oscar here and there and have a chat about what I was thinking of doing or thoughts that where on my mind, Oscar would always reply: “exactly you get it”. I think over the course of our projects we have definitely created a kind of synergy when approaching imagery to reflect his music.
How would you describe, in your own words, what happens in the video?
All I would say is that it's here for you to watch and interpret for yourself, just like the music - its subjective and hopefully proves many different reactions and conclusions.
What are the main influences in the way the different narrative strands are presented? And what was the inspiration for the different narratives?
I think this is the most organic way I tell stories, its how my subconscious works when seeing the story before writing the treatment. In a way dream logic, but charged and overuled by emotion.
It was all born and inspired by the music and its lyrics, each chapter was a new discovery or truth.
Oscar Worldpeace 'Tate Modern/Wary/Pearls' (Dir: Taz Tron Delix)
Your approach in terms of the visual style is very different from your previous work, for Oscar on 'Tate Modern/Wary/Pearls' and 'Run', and for other artists. Was that dictated by the track, or a conscious decision to move away from your trademark style?
Yes in a way you could say that. But this is still very much me and I think that still shows massively in NWG, but in alternative forms.
I wanted to achieve a certain look and feel with this video and give time to take the strong imagery in, as well as challenging myself to achieve more in camera effects and textures. I’m always looking at new ways of doing things, new approaches, making new discoveries, even mistakes - it all helps me learn and grow to be better at my craft.
What were the biggest challenges in making the video happen - before, after, and during the shoot day?
With a production like this it's always a challenge. It was a very tight budget and partly self-funded by the artist. You have to beg, steal and borrow basically. Pulling in favours from everywhere and on everything.
With such an epic song your mind runs overtime and you really want to create the vision in your head, so you have to tailor your creative to work with the budget but not make a lesser film by doing so.
When you have a creative production company like COMPULSORY backing you and a savvy producer at your side, the dream becomes a reality. I've got a good team that have always believed in me and the vision.
• Taz Tron Delix is represented by COMPULSORY
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