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WPGM Commentary: Kwaku Asante Wants That Familiar Feeling Back On ‘Rhodes’

I’m Kwaku Asante and the main themes of my “Rhodes” video tie into one of the main influences of the whole project which is nostalgia. Reminiscing about the past dynamic with a romantic love interest with rose tinted glasses, things seeming like they were always better than they actually were.

Showing the moments that are often over looked, which for me has always been quality time. Whether you’re outside in London in public, or in private enjoying each other’s company, which is what I love to do with the people I care about.

Also the spectrum of masculinity, being intimate with your significant other and to show that it is MORE than okay to be. Showing someone that you obviously care about affection and being tactile is something some people would deem to be soft or make you less of a man. When I believe it does the opposite, emotions are what make us human.

The creative process was just listening to Rhodes over again and just trying to score the mental picture that came in my mind whenever going on the song.

I just went on Pinterest to gather a few references, source film and TV shows to further inspire the vibe of the video, then finding scenes, which I felt matched up the most with the picture in my head, and putting together a treatment, which acts as a guide for what we wanted the video to look like.

The inspiration came from watching a lot of A24 films (Uncut Gems, Waves, Good Time, Mid90s, Euphoria) and the candid nature of the relationships (both platonic and romantic) are a common theme throughout all of the films.

Also the grading is always at quite a high contrast so I know the kind of way I wanted it to look. The set designs are always realistic and not to glammed up, mirroring real life. So I wanted to catch me and Kandi Joseph, how we would normally be.

More inspiration came from life, I love the duality of man-made beauty and nature. Being able to enjoy both things is a blessing, what I’ve done with people I care about till this day. Lastly I’ve be listening to and watching a lot of Beabadoobee, and I love the warmness and candid nature of her videos reflected the vulnerability in her lyrics!

The song is about going back to a familiar feeling as a place of refuge when things aren’t going your way. Knowing that the person you’re going back to will take you back because you know how strong their feelings are towards you.

In lockdown, things including my emotions were volatile and even though in hindsight, I maybe shouldn’t have gone back, because it was a fleeting feeling, acting on impulse which never works out.

This song is neither positive or negative, more so of a sad it ended but happy it took place. The memory of a relationship will last forever and it will forever influence and shape you love other people and love yourself.

I’ve done big budget videos before and they’re great but sometimes, getting the feeling of the video across can get lost and we wanted something sincere and natural that I thought would be reflected in a more candid setting with my friend Kandi Joseph.

So we created a shot list, me & Dean Dumare, I wrote down a few locations in London during the day. Just to make it seem like each shot was a different memory. We started off South of the river at Southwark Park, our first location, and ending up at a private location in Stratford, and actually shot the whole video on an iPhone!

Watch the video for “Rhodes” below.

Words by Kwaku Asante // Follow him on Instagram + Twitter

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