For her debut music video, Shantell Martin teamed up with co-directors Charlie Nordstrom and Laksmi Hedemark to explore visually the themes behind her track "Concrete Night".
As an artist, Shantell Martin has spent years exploring her creativity through ink but with her new foray into music, Martin shifts gears as she creates lines through sound. What comes to mind when listening to her music are the early works of Philip Glass, Brian Eno, and Meredith Monk. Martin's lyrics are often unknown to her until she's saying them, melding spoken word's observation of people and society with hip-hop's lyrical irony.
Staying true to the improvisational, evocative and collaborative spirit behind all of Martin's work the team brought on Johnny Lopez, a 25-year-old Mexican / Latino professional Turf Dancer and the founder of TURFinc - a local Oakland/ Bay Area-based company that hopes to instill positive changes in the community through dance.
Much like when Martin approaches a blank canvas, Shantell and the dancers didn't meet until the cameras started rolling. What is captured is an incredible glimpse of a group of artists melding together to create a visual and oral piece of art.
"It was a fun opportunity to take Shantell's improvised poetry and match it with the dancers and other imagery in a way that helped express her words and artistic spirit," explained Charlie Nordstrom.
"The challenge was how do we let the world see this other part of an artist while also building off what they already know of her?" says Laksmi Hedemark.
To do this the team references Martin's strong use of lines, the black and white worlds she explores in her work, and captivating imagery while also keeping it simple enough so that we can simply focus on the artist and her words.