R: 06. Clyde Loveless - outfit design by Kyle Gervacy by Gajan Balan
Rapper Shan Vincent de Paul dons the director's hat with the music video for his track Neeye Oli. The video showcases Toronto’s diaspora community through avant-garde fashion, and is a visual treat to accompany Santhosh Narayanan’s thumping, trap-inspired track. For an anthem like Neeye Oli — unveiled as the theme song of the Arya-starrer boxing drama Sarpatta Parambarai — the video had to be just as striking. And Toronto-based Tamil rapper Shan Vincent de Paul’s latest directorial venture does not disappoint. The stylised video — with an all Tamil dance crew, directed by Shan and Kalainithan Kalaichelvan — reflects the aesthetics and aspirations of a music movement that is rooted in global culture.
An anthem for perseverance and motivation, the bilingual track is the second single from Shan’s upcoming album, Made in Jaffna, and also features another Toronto-based Tamil singer and rapper Navz-47. Teaming up with his personal stylist Zola Zee and Toronto-based St. Lucian designer Kyle Gervacy, SVDP creates a fantastical sci-fi world, driven by fashion. The sartorial splendour of the video represents Toronto’s diversity, as the three bring forth their respective cultures — Tamilian, Trinidadian and St Lucian respectively — to create a larger vision of what their Toronto looks like. ‘I wanted the aesthetic of this video to represent me and my collaborators, and fashion was that catalyst. This is Toronto meets Tamil Eelam. It’s a place where couture meets the ancient past, avant-garde intersects with traditional gowns… it’s the meeting point of all these different identities,’ says the Mrithangam Raps creator.
Navz Night by Gajan Balan
Eagle-eyed fans will spot the spaceship in the Neeye Oli video, after it made its first appearance in the Savage video, featuring French-Tamil dancer Usha Jey. And the spaceship is an important facet of the narrative that Shan wants to weave through his work. ‘The Made in Jaffna world is a surreal, sci-fi world, where the ancient past meets a new future,’ he says, before adding, ‘The Tamil Eelam experience is always shown through the lens of oppression and suffering and I want to show people our glory and innovation. There is a South Asian renaissance and I want people to sit up and take notice of us.’
Neeye Oli is now streaming on Maajja’s YouTube channel here.
Text Platform Desk