Video Voyager: 3Qs with Marius Billgobenson “Tears On The Ground”

Originally hailing from the Congo River Basin, anthropologist and singer-songwriter, Marius Bilgobenson works tirelessly to promote cross-cultural dialogue. Inspired by the likes of Louis Armstong, he uses jazz fusion to communicate his powerful messages of civil rights advocacy to the world. His music contains elements of jazz, R&B, blues and indigenous African traditions which further drive home his message of inclusivity and awareness for disenfranchised communities. He released a beautiful video for his single “Tears on the Ground” and we got the opportunity to catch up with him to find out more about what was going on inside his mind and behind the scenes.

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
“Tears On The Ground” celebrates social and human rights advocates who have shaped, cared and embraced our pleasant lives, but sometimes you can’t explain what you see in a person you love – it’s just the way they take you to a place where no one else can. The song aims to remind us to take a moment to look around and appreciate the contributions our benefactors, both seen and unseen, have made which allow us to become the great kings we are today.
When appreciating what we see around us, including the peaceful, pleasant and well-being environment, we remember the benefactors who have, near and far, collapsed in body and soul for the contribution of our heritage – princes of the kingdom in succeeding remarkable actions of their hands. We always have, in one way or another, ‘someone to lean on’ to refer to Bill Withers.
However, I chose to visualize this song specifically in this way to mark a particular emphasis on the beauty of the environment, when we still have the chance to touch it. All the sites visited along the route of our exploration were selected to celebrate a vibrant tribute to all the benefactors who have handed us this legacy – to the point we have all become activists to defend the destruction of our lovely environmental framework.

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

The inspiration behind this video comes from the idea that sometimes, due to our anxieties, men and women have left our planet without being given the proper love and acknowledgement for their contributions that have shaped who we are today.
Throughout the course of my life, I have known some of the wisest craftsmen whom I still owe my life to. Particularly, one indigenous woman saved my life during wartime in my native country Congo – I was almost dead and using traditional plant-based practices, she helped me recover, but I have not gotten the chance to see her since I recovered. Through song, I since my love over and over to make sure I never lose touch with all that I love – I leave my tears on the ground.
As to highlight the visual and storyline, we aimed our focus on beautiful environments around us, parks they plant to harmonize the natural environment, bridges and railways they built to facilitate our daily movement before spotlighting all sacrifices beloved parents make to shape our identity while watching over us in their sleepless nights. Sometimes we feel like house caging our loved ones, so that others cannot see them…

What was the process of making this video?

In the process of making this video, we decided to travel around Sweden by train, while keeping in mind ‘Grandma’s Hands’ – a song by Bill Withers as well as the idea that states that ‘the hand that helps you get up after a fall is more sincere than the thousand that greet you on arrival’ – my French translation from SourceDusavoir.


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