Music videography is an art form not often celebrated enough. While songs are stirring, evocative designs in themselves, the ability to layer sonic nuance among visuals is a true skill, one that Andre Colquhoun has certainly mastered.
Fresh off the release of his debut EP Short Term, the Canadian singer, songwriter and record producer has cast the humble music video into an enviable production, spinning linear release schedules into cinema. As a result, Short Term stands as an entity, a body of work that traces the agonies experienced throughout his life and arrives in a place of clarity. It’s an utterly formidable release.
Andre Colquhoun has unleashed a cinematic masterpiece in his latest video Short Term. Championing the music of his latest EP by the same name, the video melts haunting imagery into a celebration of love and identity.
Short Term the video blends Colquhoun’s entire release into one nuanced sojourn. Each aesthetic, beat, and message lends itself to the next, tracing a journey that could otherwise go unnoticed. Sonically, the release boasts the sweltering spectrum of RnB and Soul, tastefully refraining in areas where others would get carried away and expressing a distinct honesty.
“Love and Identity play a big role,” the artist explains. “‘Short Term’ is pieces of reality expressed through song. It shows my vulnerable side and it shows my resilience side as an African Canadian male. Finding true love and one’s true identity is essential and I wanted to convey that message.”
As the video begins, we know we are in for something special. The EP’s 50-second introduction, With You, is accompanied by a nostalgic portrait of agony. We find Colquhoun upset and suspended by something, we aren’t sure what it is yet. Framed by the borders of film stock and staring out a window, the synth-laden track establishes the scene perfectly and speaks to the remainder of the clip; beautiful, RnB-driven, and deeply evocative.
Enter the joiner to Now, the video’s foreshadowing. Shaded in dreamy ‘80s visuals, the self-directed Colquhoun embodies disruption in the most subtle way. He remains centred in every shot, missing every other word of the verse. It is visually stunning but feels very unnatural, forced even, but that’s exactly what was intended. You could argue that this is a dream, a vision of what the artist wishes his life to be, yet he knows that it isn’t real. As the song progresses, we see Colquhoun grow more restless. Overlaid images of him singing allude to what’s on the horizon.
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As the sounds of a police speaker and sirens usher in, audiences are aware of but could never expect a transition from the dreaminess of Now. Awful Misery is juxtaposed in every sense of the word. The screen is divided between two sides, each a reflection of the other. One representing the public, the persona the artist displays in the world, and the private, his internal monologue. In the private, we see Colquhoun as a patient, depicting his current state: “Can someone save me from this awful misery, I swear I’m going insane.”
That’s until the public-facing artist erupts. Blood streaming from his nose and a gun in one hand; the artist expresses pain, agony, and madness all within in a clinical setting, audiences are left shell-shocked. A third figure enters both sides respectively, showing these dichotomised progressions in even more detail. On the left, we find the professional, the casual, the tormented. On the right, a progression of emotion; from alert to exhausted. Both sides speak directly to Colquhoun’s struggle with identity, overflowing with vulnerability and sonic sensitivity.
We then transition to the video’s finale, In Stages. Rich and powerful in its command of sonic, the song depicts the artist dancing in a church, portraying a stunning visual where tradition meets the present. It feels reflective, pained, but also free. As bass swells in, we are transported from the jarring visuals of the last segment into a softly moving scene, one that juxtaposes rigid structures with the freedom of dance.
Andre Colquhoun hasn’t just entered the scene, he has asserted his place in it. Overflowing with symbolism, nuance, and sultry melodies, Short Term is a release sure to take your breath away.
Check out the video below: