PLENTY of artists use music videos to naturally generate buzz or rack up streaming numbers. But on rarer occasions, a music video can revitalize a fledgeling single, introduce a new aesthetic era, or act as a vehicle for deeper self-expression.
When a song is paired with the right kind of spectacle, it has far greater potential to be absorbed into pop culture mythology.
Ulenni Okandlovu, a multi-disciplinary artist, is one of the not-so-many creatives in Zimbabwe offering a different style of music compared with what people typically think of. His new eccentric local tourism promotional music video for his single “Can I Take You Out” is one of the few videos produced in quarantine that excellently used modern technology and sheer creativity, and brought about an immersive viewing experience, despite lacking a large onsite production team.
Produced by Ti Beats and starring Brother Matabele and Mantate Mlotshwa, the video is rendered to look lifelike, but they still have an artificial sheen, almost like a video game effect. While (probably) shot in a single studio set, it gives the impression that the couple is taking each other to some of Zim’s biggest tourism spots with off-centre transitions and blends.
Inspired by growing up in Matopo, Silozwe, Ulenni showcases a funky and modern version of local tourism story, one that dispels long-held perceptions that doing local vacations and visiting local resorts is explicit to foreigners and local boujee.
“The whole project seeks to build a culture of travelling as well as to encourage locals to participate in domestic tourism and find ways to commercially exploit our beautiful spaces in a sustainable way. It all begins with conversation around the subject,” he told NewsDay.
At a time when overseas travelling is almost impossible, the song has even got many Zimbabweans fascinated with unique takes on cities and resorts they know well.
While folks will applaud King 98’s recently released video “I Bet” for actually tapping into Kariba’s tourism tapestry and advertising brand Zimbabwe, Ulenni immaculately did well in translating the song into a visual feast stuffed with meaningful references, conceptual resonance, and flawlessly executed choreography on a low budget.
Check out the video below