If you weren’t already in the mood for the summer holidays then NxWorries’ latest video is sure to get you daydreaming. Illustrated by Robin Velghe and animated by Andy Baker, and co-directed by the two creatives, the video stars animated versions of Anderson.Paak and Knxwledge as they cruise through balmy LA with the car roof down, checking out beautiful ladies and sunsets alike along the way. Andy and Robin tell It’s Nice That that the project began with both duos chatting and sharing ideas about the track’s themes, discussing retro 90s references, a chilled LA setting and, specifically, a BMW 2002.
“I knew pretty quickly how it would look,” Robin says, “so with that figured out in my mind, Andy and I were able to focus on the storyline. I knew I didn’t want to do a crazy action-packed video, so we agreed a super laid-back quest through the city would fit the song perfectly. Lyk Dis is a pretty sexual song and I certainly wanted the video to represent that mood. I wanted to create that feeling you get when you are at the beginning of a crazy summer night, when everything is still possible.”
“I wanted to build a story that added to the lyrics and (tried) to make them more positive for the women in our story,” Andy explains. “It was a balance of keeping the sexual nature of the track while trying to empower the women in the video. Obviously we couldn’t ignore the lyrics but we agreed if we made them fun with innuendo and designed the women as not being degraded but rather empowered – or at the very least unbothered – then we would be ok!” As such, the video is peppered with saucy innuendo, playing to hip-hop tropes but with a cartoon comedy, such as the lick of an ice lolly or a close up of a peach.
Robin’s illustration style is clean and flat, built up using straight lines and basic shapes to compose a detailed scene, so for this video he had to develop the style to show various perspectives. “I tried to create the characters in a certain way to work well at different angles,” Robin says. “I’m also pretty meticulous when it comes to colours – I spent hours making sure I was satisfied with every background and created a palette that fitted the LA vibe, balancing the hard light of the of the South Californian sun and the warm sunset.”
The animation style is based on Robin’s use of light and shade, making it feel cinematic. This saw Andy consider the kinds of shots and cameras he might use were it shot in live action, and recreating them in animation. “I never thought hand-animating water reflections on swimming pools would be the most time-consuming job,” Andy comments, “but it really is!” To tell the whole story over two-and-a-half minutes, each frame is packed with detail and atmospheric elements, so every time you watch it you see something new.
“If I had to pick a favourite shot,” Andy says, “it would be the reveal of the city once Paak and Knxledge come out of the tunnel at the end. I love the colours and the lighting in the illustration.” Robin’s choice shot is nearer the start, depicting “the atmosphere of the aftermath of this house party, with Paak chilling in the pool and Knxledge still playing music, not giving a f*ck. I want to be at this party when I watch it.”