Exploring the hidden beauty of London through the eyes of LKS and the genius behind the music video of ‘I Understand’
Earlier this month we were introduced to the mesmerizing dreaminess of London rising star LKS with the release of ‘I Understand’; an introspective glance at what can only be described as the love child of Mac Miller and Loyle Carner.
The candid delivery of the lyricism becomes a disarming tactic as LKS dives into his world of unfiltered vulnerability, the track eb-ing and flowing between moments of love, loss, addiction, and growth.
LKS delivers a truly introspective and intriguing offering with “I Understand,” and its impact is elevated even further by an enthralling music video that guides us through stunning landscapes.
As the visuals unfold, we find ourselves immersed in a symbiotic dance between the song’s lyrical journey and the captivating exploration of diverse natural beauty. It’s a profound parallel that mirrors the song’s intention of delving into the ebb and flow of life itself—the unpredictable winds of change and the unexpected moments of breathtaking splendor that envelop us all.
Director Yaboi masterfully tapped into the heart and essence of the song’s intent, drawing upon its deep well of creativity. With his own intuition and instinct as guiding forces, he embarked on a mission to create an unforgettable storytelling experience. Every frame of the music video is a testament to the unwavering dedication to the craft, a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence.
Yaboi takes us on a behind-the-scenes journey, revealing the practical aspects required to execute a production of the highest quality. From discussing the technicalities of filming to the meticulous attention to detail in setting up shots, we gain insight into the craftsmanship involved in bringing the artistic vision to life.
But beyond the technicalities, it is Yaboi’s visionary prowess that shines through, as he seamlessly weaves together the visuals and the artist’s message, transcending mere aesthetics to create a profound and meaningful experience.
The collaborative process between LKS and Yaboi is a testament to their shared commitment to delivering a powerful message. The music video becomes a vessel through which the artist’s intention is amplified, inviting viewers to embark on their own introspective journey.
In essence, the music video for “I Understand” is a testament to the beauty of artistic exploration. It showcases the dedication, skill, and vision required to craft a high-quality production while staying true to the artist’s message. Through breathtaking visuals and insightful storytelling, it serves as a powerful conduit for LKS’s profound expression, leaving an indelible mark on those who dare to venture into its compelling world.
Read along as videographer and director Yaboi takes us through the journey of filming ‘I Understand’
Developing an understanding of the artist and the song was a key element in constructing the video for ‘I Understand. LKS is an intuitive artist who takes deep concentration and focus when developing his music.
Everything is made with meaning and purpose. As mentioned earlier the footage was taken from a trip with the intention of the footage being used for another song, which eventually had to be scrapped, but this did not persist us to delete the footage that we had taken.
Months later when LKS showcased the song to me, the first feeling I had was a waking dream. The pace of the beat parallel to his lyrics places you in a vacant void of peace, breaking down the urge for you as the listener to try and find a deeper meaning, and instead letting the direction of the lyrics naturally attach to you.
Creating the video was an expression of what the song brought to me, from the understanding of the song and artist. The trip gave us a euphoric memory that we were able to capture and keep.
I used a white background as the underlying base of the video as this ignites the song into a dream-like state. The footage was all slowed down to match the pace of the music behind the lyrics, giving the audience time to experience the scenes and emotions that we are conveying. The colours of the footage are sunk into black and white, leaving a tinge of colour in order to signify the essence of a waking dream.
I use a Sony A7s ii mirrorless camera for my videos as it eases the accessibility of filming on the go, giving me less time to set up a shot when I do see one, removing the need for lugging around a huge set-up whenever I wanted to shoot.
For this shoot, I used a 50mm Samyang Cine lens with a 1.3f aperture. I chose this lens as I love a shallow depth of field for my takes, I find this brings the focus of the action in the shot, even if the target is in the foreground or background of the frame.
Additionally, I utilised a stabiliser for this shoot as I wanted to keep the video in a consistent state of motion; this paired in tandem with the lens, I was able to connect a pull focus giving me full control of what’s in focus at any given time, allowing some shots to fade in and out of certain blurs.
Using this set-up, I place the camera on a high frame rate as the majority of the video was both of us walking around the coast of Cornwall, which was extremely windy, but ultimately added to the video as it gave the camera a slow shake despite being on a stabiliser.
In the area we went to in Cornwall, we went and explored areas that we felt may work, visiting the huge beaches, steep cliffs and fishing ports. For one of the shots, we hiked up a large cliff in the hopes of getting a good shot, at the time we couldn’t seem to secure one after many takes on the top, the wind was horrendous.
Upon our descent back down, I noticed the vast scope of the sea in the background, centring LKS in the middle, establishing him as the main focus, which can be seen in the first shot when he begins to rap.
Another one of the locations was an area recommended for us to visit called Mevagissey. The area was a beautiful town with a small fishing port. It was extremely peaceful, friendly and felt somewhat euphoric.
This location was beautiful to explore, and that became my main focus, capturing LKS’s natural reactions to what he was seeing around him, and allowing the shots to unfold themselves into the lens. I picked up on certain attributes of the area, the seagulls, the houses that sat on the top of the hill looking down and the still water that made the area feel so calming.
Towards the end of the video, we see LKS setting up his equipment to record music. This was actually the idea we wanted to use for the song we initially wanted to film, which was a wide mixed with a close-up frame of LKS rapping into the mic for the entirety of the video.
This shot was used to give audiences an insight into the process of how LKS makes his music. I chose to add this to the “I Understand” as it would display the narrative for the video; the video starts in the light and ends in the dark, a day in the life, a day in the process, a day in “I Understand”.
When looking back at these shots months later, it was a clear path to attach these shots to the single “I Understand”. The shots were a memory that we both shared and felt that the video would ultimately give audiences an essence of what we experienced on the trip; the exploration, journey, peace and void of distraction, and that is what I believe “I Understand” has achieved.
Sony – A7sii
50mm Samyang Cine
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