Directors Jake Moore and Oliver Rivard have directed a new video for multi-disciplinary and always smiling musician, Laraaji. Commissioned by All Saints Records, the short celebrates the artist’s latest record and is filmed around his home of New York, displaying the energy and joy of Laraaji’s ambient sounds.
Following the musician through the city, Jake and Oliver film the musician exploring and dancing through familiar sites such as Central Park, High Bridge and the rooftop of Laraaji’s own apartment block in Harlem. “The aim of Laraaji’s music is simple; to spread as much joy as possible, and this film follows in that ethos, with Laraaji radiating happiness through his movements, facial expressions and playful showmanship — he worked as a stand-up comedian in his formative years — while the animations and effects add a level of surreal intrigue and humour,” explains the label.
Filmed with a grainy edge that still manages to remain crystal clear, the music video almost has a Super 8 feel to it. However, slightly warped moments such as the musician’s eyes getting gradually larger or radiating soundwave visual illustrations which pop up at certain times add a digital edge. These additions replicate “this feeling of Laraaji ‘throwing’ energy far past the camera,” says the directorial duo.
“Laraaji has a warm and beautiful human quality that we think really comes through in the video,” say Jake and Oliver. “Expressing who he is playfully but honestly was our biggest priority. As you might imagine, working with him was awesome because he’s so open minded and full of energy. We would tell him to run up to the top of a rock face and start dancing, and he’d jump to it immediately — no questions asked.”
Another surprise of working with the musician was the amount of laughter involved in the day of shooting. “We knew the exact location of each shot, but we weren’t ready for the laughter. It’s impossible not to laugh along with Laraaji. The sounds of us losing it were so loud in the raw footage that we had to re-record his laughs in the studio. Go to one of his laugher meditation workshops. Seriously.”
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.