The Artist Explains: Alekxandr - ‘Still’ (Video)
Alekxandr talks us through the visuals for his latest single ‘Still’.
Who directed the video?
Me. I’ve directed and produced all of my visuals. Because the music is so personal and I have the vision in my head it makes sense to execute it myself. I like to work on each song as a whole audio/visual art project. Also, there’s part of me that grew up watching MTV wanting to be a music video director so I get to live out that dream.
For “Still” I had the idea for the video before the song was finished. It came from a recurring dream I was having around the time I was writing the song.
Where was it filmed?
It was filmed somewhere off the coast of Devon in the Celtic Sea. My friend, flatmate and one of the stars of my music video “IF”, Fionn is from Devon and he kindly invited us to set up in his family home. We did a recce on a few beaches and eventually found a lovely fisherman, Chris who had a speedboat and was bemused and curious enough to get involved in our madcap mission. We set off at 5am the next morning with my bed on the back of his boat.
He was saying that there was a humpback whale in the area which we were hoping would come up for camera but alas...
Is the video done with special effects or is that really you on a bed in the middle of the ocean? If so how did you stay afloat?
There are no special effects in the video. It’s all me floating in the sea. It felt really peaceful out there with just the buzzing of the drone above. The current dragged me out really far, I had no idea how fast I was moving.
Luckily the weather was calm on the morning we filmed. I thought I would be freezing so am wearing loads of layers under the sheets. Unbeknown to me we got this gorgeous moment when the bed drifted into the first light of day cutting through the clouds. I don’t want to completely ruin the magic of the image by saying exactly how the bed floats but I will say that there were many visits to B&Q and my DIY skills were stretched to their limit.
Are there behind the scenes stories?
It was all very much by the seat of our pants and we were lucky that everything worked out.
We built the bed in London and needing to be sure if it worked, carried it to Brockwell Park and dunked it in the lake. The ducks were not impressed.
Sebastian, our brilliant DOP was coming back to London from a shoot in Lithuania the night before and only arrived in Devon at 2am, two hours before we were on our way to the location. We talked through the shots in the van on our way to the boat.
There was a pretty heated debate the day before the shoot about health and safety. My caring friend and co-producer, Kamel became convinced I was going to die and wanted to call the whole thing off. I managed to talk him down, reasoning that the worst that could happen is that I fall in and have to tread water until the boat zooms back. Fortunately my tenuous plan wasn't put to the test. My friend and super talented musician, Gabe (Whitebrow) was helping out and gave a much needed air of Canadian tranquillity to the madness.
There was next to no budget so I tried to look after the team as best I could. I cooked a big pasta dinner for everyone the night before whilst trying sort out bedsheets and gaffer tape.
How does the video link with the meaning of the track?
I wrote the song when I was heartbroken. Every night I would dream that the world had been submerged in water and I was drifting alone in my once shared bed.
At that time it seemed to be raining always and there had been a massive flood where I live in South East London. A old pipe had burst and the water kept gushing up. It caused so much damage. So I had water on the brain...
It’s strange that the image for such a savage emotion came out so peaceful but I guess thats what I found with the song - only when I accepted that I am still heartbroken and might always be did I start to find peace.