The music video is one of the most influential interludes in visual culture to revolutionise our storytelling instincts since the advent of television. Unorthodox filmmaking has become the imperative benchmark for promoting not just the aesthetic vocabulary of the featured artists but also actualising the intrinsic symbolism and personal legends of the dreamer trapped within the golden cage of verse. With technological headway disrupting the digital medium, these latest offerings under Homegrown's radar are proving that slick visual effects and immersive animation montages are blazing the trail for the burgeoning omnibus of ingenious expression that underpins the release of an album in modern day India.
I. Surpanakha — shauharty & ARSLAN
A sonically cohesive mixtape Madheera by debutant shauharty comprises of a beguiling interpolation of Jay Z's Encore bars, an enigmatic subplot involving painter M.F. Hussain and a tryst with Hindu mythology. Directed and edited by 17-year-old prodigy Aditya Mishra, the abstract art music video for Surpanakha is a multimedia palimpsest of Adidas Americana inspired stop motion paper cutouts and adrenaline spiked hyper-lapse sequences dropping hot from DevD, that is bound to be give you a sensory overload. The carousel of a young sinner's need for escapism spinning out of control as his own conscience stifles him from within, Mishra' short film is a loose interpretation of shauharty's lyrics that give a Lamar spin on the ennui of making desi hip-hop in a post-colonialist landscape.
II. Saacha Sahib — Kanishk Seth, Kavita Seth & Javed Bashir
Emanating from Kanishk Seth's first EP Surmayi, this music video took two months from storyboarding through illustration unto animation, knitting a phantasmagorical tapestry of one individual's crusade to piece the universe together by descending into an ever-expanding abyss of his own psyche. Stepping foot into a Dali-esque wasteland of cosmic manta rays and floating crucibles of memories, the monochromatic creation by Shikha Sharma and Adarsh Panicker is a shapeshifting amalgamation of Dragon Ball Z comic book delusions of grandeur and the fairy tale forests from ancient Indian epics. "We approached the brief with the goal of showcasing the spiritual journey that begins with looking within oneself and ends with merging with one's higher self and the divine," Shikha elucidates.
III. Panthoibi — Serpents of Pakhangba
The new folk metal single by Serpents of Pakhangba is a paean to Panthoibi or the spiritual custodian that lingers in the shadows, waiting to swoop down in her quest of divine retribution. Tackling the troubling legacy of child abuse in Manipur is no mean feat for a music video, produced by No Binary Records and directed by Kulanandini Mahanta, this atmospheric visual odyssey incorporates shades of Pan's Labyrinth style magical realism and bone-chilling Meitei motifs. Shot like a Phantom of the Opera fever dream featuring hooded didgeridoo players and indigenous masks evoking a sinister mysticism, the video deftly imbibes angst filled LED concert lighting to speak to the inner screams of an innocent soul wronged by the ugliness of a world she wasn't prepared for.
IV. 170CM — Paal Dabba
An exciting world where Mortal Kombat iconography fuses seamlessly with Blade Runner 2049 holograms, the Indo-futurist music video for 170CM is in a psychedelic league of its own. Featuring VFX from Viky Pup and animation from Bharat Raj, strains of 1960s African American street dance culture are intertwined in this film with a cholo gangster style face-off to spearhead the Tamil rap movement that is sweeping through the boroughs of our country. Infused with an irreverent flippancy in his lyrics, Paal Dabba synthesises a zesty vocal overly to Flameboi's foot-stomping rhythms, directing this Clockwork Orange-esque rollercoaster that will jingle like spare change in the pockets of your memory for the foreseeable future.
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