NoMaddz's Sheldon Shepherd featured in int'l music video - Director speaks about project in Rolling Stone magazine
VeilHymn is the product of a collaboration between US musicians Devonte Hynes of Blood Orange and Bryndon Cook of Starchild & the New Romantic. After achieving success as individuals, the musicians recently released their first single called Hymn, which premiered on RollingStone.com on February 8.
VeilHymn turned to Kingston, Jamaica, and filmed their first music video with a completely local cast. The video clip is a montage of voyeuristic scenes at a church, barbershop, a wholesale and pieces of a cityscape backdrop. Featured in the video are Sheldon Shepherd, singer, poet and actor of the popular musical dub poetry act, NoMaddz, and local dancer, Tara Price.
Filmed over two days, director Malia James told Rolling Stone magazine that the team sought after a particular aesthetic.
"I wanted to explore the concept of creating a fictional, vintage time and place," James said.
"They are perfectly right in saying that it is a vintage time and place," Shepherd told The Gleaner. "But what I want everyone to understand is that it's not fictional. It is the real life. As beautiful as it may look as part of photography, and as interesting as it may look to a foreigner, it is our reality, and it's not necessarily something we're proud of," he said.
Shepherd recalled his experience when filming Better Mus' Come, set in the 1970's and initially released in 2011.
"Kingston, especially our ghettos, haven't changed since the 1970's. When we were filming, all we had to do was go into Sandy Park and get some cars of the times," he said.
Shepherd was invited to the video's casting audition through local producer Carlene Samuels, who showed his Instagram account to Hymn's production team. After attending the casting, "[the stylist] said that we don't have anything that compares to what I was already wearing, so everything I'm wearing in the video is my wardrobe," Shepherd told The Gleaner.
"Since it's on Rolling Stone, it's obviously going places," he continued. "With my image involved in it, I'm glad to represent brand NoMaddz and brand Sheldon Shepherd. It's one step into the international space," he said.