Video Voyageur: 3 Qs with Ali Aslam

Pakistani-American Brooklyn based Ali Aslam’s music explores the complex, sometimes contradictory facets of his identity with a curious introspection. They reflect the private musings of a person who has spent considerable time alone on the fringes. Ali Aslam calls his signature sound “supersonic folk” — not the booming singalongs of past genre giants like Mumford and Sons or Fleet Foxes, but rather a current and forward-thinking creation that incorporates diverse sonic elements and reaches across cultures, more like Big Thief or Phoebe Bridgers. We caught up with Ali for an exclusive Video Voyageur for this “Photocopy,” lyric video. Catch it below!

1. Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?

Like so many things in art its one part intention and one part happy accident.

The song itself is about this idea that we can be more than the sum of our grief, but that is a choice we make. The video came about because I had been committed to a very strict quarantine in my apartment in Brooklyn. I hadn’t really seen anyone or interacted with anyone for months. So, I had been taking these motorcycle rides all summer to just get out of my apartment and let off some steam. I started shooting Go-Pro videos while doing that, thinking it would be a fun distraction to edit them. On one of my first rides with the camera, I had mounted it wrong and it got jostled and then all of the footage was just of the sky, and the city buildings just looked so strange, as if they were hanging from some space station rather than rooted to the earth. When I think about Photocopy it is like so many songs about grief, but it asks you to change your perspective just a little bit, and that’s what makes it special. New York is one of the most photographed places on earth, but I was seeing it from just a slightly different perspective that made it more compelling, and it just clicked.

2. What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)? 

Once I had that idea of focusing on the perspective change, I started to think about different ways I could capture that in images of architecture. There’s a quiet dignity to architecture and infrastructure. (I am also an architect, so I get romantic about these things) It serves people and it usually doesn’t call too much attention to itself, but then it’s always rewarding if you do focus on it. Not only that, but something about focusing on buildings and not people captured the loneliness that I think so many people felt during this crisis. I started looking for how the buildings interact with each other; looking for old buildings reflected in new ones. You take an image of the city from a distance and it feels dense, and then you flip it over and suddenly, the image is about the unencumbered sky. I loved that.

3. What was the process of making this video?

A few great days riding around the city on my motorcycle…this time with the camera intentionally upside down. And thinking of neighborhoods that were most interesting when you looked up. There’s a shot in the video of the network of overpasses that you see coming down the West Side Highway near the Bronx. I loved taking images of things that are infrastructure and finding beautiful moments in them, so I started riding over bridges and through tunnels, always looking up. It felt great to shoot the video like this because it was like I was living the song while making it…intentionally looking for new perspectives.

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Hip-hop artist and entrepreneur, Flawless Real Talk, announced today the release of his newest track titled “Everything,” an uplifting melody written to provide a voice for female empowerment in the current world via his own record label, R.i.S.E. The track is an anthem dedicated to all of the powerful women in the world setting a positive example, with lyrics written by the artist himself to show appreciation and give value to each and every female. 

The new song from Flawless was actually created during one of his recent live streaming sessions on the live stream app LIVIT, who last month announced a six figure partnership with the rapper. 

“Everything is all about women empowerment. Our culture and generation doesn’t really teach us to value women, so this song is written to set an example for my audience that we really need to do just that,” says Flawless Real Talk. “If you look at the artwork, it shows the silhouette of a woman with everything within her and it showcases how powerful women really are and how much more they need to be appreciated.”

Fresh off an empowering BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher performance about social injustice, Flawless continues to find creative ways to create hip-hop music speaking on the messages that are most important to him. Earlier this year, he released his compelling track titled “What A Time,” which unveiled a first-person perspective into his life as he imagines his one-year-old son having to also endure social injustice.

In addition to music, just last month, the rapper signed an exclusive live streaming deal with LIVIT, an app powered by Taiwan-based M17, a leading global social entertainment company, with more than 45 million registered users across the globe. Flawless will stream exclusive content, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look into studio sessions, workshops, his day-to-day life and brought in more than one million viewers who tuned in to his two-hour live virtual concert. 

The rapper will also promote charitable causes and give back to those in need, with a monthly live streamed visit to charities, shelters, food banks, hospitals, fire stations and more. Flawless, who became a worldwide phenomenon following his success on Netflix’s “Rhythm + Flow”, which streamed in over 190 countries, will use LIVIT to introduce new music and connect with fans in a deeper, more authentic way than other prerecorded social media apps allow. 

The Nursery Share the Alt-Rock laced “Demons”

The new single, “Demons,” from The Nursery was inspired by the idea of romanticizing the darker parts of humanity. Recorded in the studio The Nursery built, many echos, creaks and noise from the space lay throughout the track. You can barely hear them, but it’s there, and their energy is felt. 

Formed by singer-songwriter/video artist Alex Pulec, The Nursery is an alternative rock trio with songs commenting on the intense emotions of youth, contrasting themes of fear, rebellion, obsession, desire and alienation. 2020 sees The Nursery teaming up with Michael Fong (Electric Youth, Wintersleep) and Nick Boyd (Dizzy, Hollerado, Royal Mountain) to produce their forthcoming album, Candy + Gloom.

TANDM Unveils the Vivid “Earthworm”

As TANDM, lead vocalist/guitarist Maxine Beck-Sinderby and drummer Thomas Franklin create music that weaves stories around the complexities of life. From personal pleasures and conflicts to the flaws in society encountered in young adulthood, TANDM’s upbeat sounds, vivid narratives and captivating melodies create a bittersweet and memorable experience for the audience that echoes long after a first listen.

The duo’s confident, fast-paced new single, “Earthworm (2020 Remastered),” serves as a rebuttal to the people who do not believe music-making to be a professional career, or do not believe in a musician’s ability to succeed.

Zach and Melissa Walker Share “Christmas Tears”

In the spirit of their past Christmas release they intended mostly for family and friends last year, Zach and Melissa Walker wanted to spread the joy into the 2020 holiday season.

“Christmas Tears” was originally written by Sid Bass and Robert Crewe;  Zach and Melissa Walker breathe new life into the track, providing the perfect foundation into the record as a whole. 

“There’s Snow-One Like You,” will be filled with holiday classics as Zach and Melissa put their own special ingredients into the mix. The result is a charming and joyful collection of songs that will have you head over heels into the New Year, and beyond!

Sweet Roger Shares Glorious New Single “Pay Me”

Pay Me” is the first installment to Sweet Roger’s upcoming follow up record to his debut album, You’ll Always Have Yourself. The track captures the unsettling mood of the times with a defiant performance of raw vocals and growly acoustics driven by a solid rhythm that exultantly powers us forward. 

Sweet Roger finds relevance for folksy themes and imagery in an advanced age where we continue to struggle and search for solace. New single, “Pay Me” is a surly blues and folk song reminiscent of early 20th century outliers who sang in rough and coarse overtones speaking of hardships, travels, and cursed relationships.