Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
The award-winning animator responsible for the social-media hit series Dutty Bwoy, Reinardo Chung, is taking his creativity to another level as he seeks to extend his creative skills through music.
Chung, who goes by the moniker 'Mental Chung', wants to add a new dimension to his level of creativity while helping to influence a change in Jamaica's music landscape.
"The Dutty Bwoy series is based on dancehall culture, and so for me to get involved in songwriting and actually performance allows me more depth in original content, creativity and ownership of the material that I am putting out," the 28-year-old multimedia artist told The Gleaner.
His work can be seen on his YouTube channel www.youtube.com/mentalchung.
His new single and music video Neva Mean It is a unique storytelling paradox, and the video, which was done in one week, offers an informative, yet engaging animated depiction of the real issues and choices youths are faced with and how their decisions impact their lives.
The video has been out for the past two weeks and has amassed hundreds of comments, most positive. The feedback is something the animator-turned-musician is welcoming.
"The Jamaican music industry is at its peak and I want to bring something new and different on a creative level. I have always been doing music in the background scenes of my short film series, and so I believe now is the right time to articulate it from the forefront and always try to connect with a wider audience," Chung stated.
The multimedia artist bagged the Reggae Film Festival Animation Award for his first short film, Bad Influence.
That success gave momentum to the Dutty Bwoy series that showcases a comedic, witty and entertaining feature that borders on social commentary and mimics entertainers.
Chung hails from St Ann and has done advertisements for Claro, Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records, and even music videos for Queen Ifrica, Luciano and Tony Rebel.
Despite the successes achieved in working with major corporate entities in Jamaica, he does not want to get complacent.
"What I do has always been considered unorthodox, and I encourage persons to think outside of the box when they want to stand out. I hope that through this new effort and platform, I will be able to push creativity in music to a new level and even get persons to see a different side of multimedia," he said.