The Video Explained: Jonni Slater - 'Not Giving Up'

Bristol based Indie Singer-songwriter Jonni Slater and illustrator Steve Sims speak to us about the ideas behind  their collaboration on Jonni's music video ' Not Giving Up'  which sees  Steve Sims produce a complete comic to go along with the song.
'Not Giving Up' is the first track taken from Jonni Slater's upcoming EP 'Now' due for release 9th Sept 2016.

The Video Explained:
How did the video come together?
"My idea was to have a complete comic for each of the singles from my new EP, which would not only provide the images for the videos, but also be a bonus download when the EP comes out in September. The stylish artwork was drawn and inked by artist Steve Sims, with additional live band footage shot by Mark Eastment in a Bristol studio. We were actually all at the same secondary school at around the same time, where both of them were well-known as having a talent for art; Steve’s gone on to make a career as an illustrator and comic artist, while Mark has become an award-winning wildlife photographer…"

How does the video compliment the song?
Jonni: “I often see stories playing in my head like movie scenes when I’m writing songs, so I was really keen to get visuals that would also tell a story and work with the lyrics and the pace of the song. Although I had specific events in mind when I was writing it, I wanted the imagery for the video to go in a different direction, so i sent Steve the lyrics and left him to it for a bit. He's a fast worker and before I knew it there was a complete storyboard sketched out with this cool and quirky tale of a robot finding its way out of a life of routine and drudgery."

 Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
Steve: "I really liked the theme and feel of the song, and really appreciated the freedom to interpret it as I saw fit. The idea revolved around someone longing to escape to the place of their dreams and 'not giving up' in their pursuit of freedom." Jonni: “We took the comic strip idea into the edit of the video, so you get simultaneously Steve's story that links to the themes and ideas of the song and Mark's footage of the musicians playing it, all appearing as panels." What is the message the video is trying to convey? Jonni: “Overall, the song is about the power of hope; how it influences you, how it can lead you astray at times, but how ultimately it’s something we’re all driven by. As far as the video is concerned, although the character is (literally) torn apart by experience, in the end they wind up where they want to be, so I feel like it turns out to be an uplifting message..."

Interview feature by Karla Harris