The Artist Explains: DANiCA HUNTER - 'DiAMOND'
London-based artist DANiCA HUNTER returns with fresh new single, 'DiAMOND' and talks to us about the ideas behind both the single and its upbeat visuals pairing urban life with natural imagery.
Featuring her distinctive, soulful vocals, gritty hip hop tones and Hawaiian, washy electric guitars, 'DiAMOND' is a much more chilled out and dreamy track than it's predecessor, 'TYPICAL'. With soul and experimentation at the forefront of her sound, there's a real authenticity to the music that that DANiCA is creating and I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for her.
Where was the video for 'DiAMOND' filmed?
The video for 'DiAMOND' was filmed around London - we went far and wide to get some good shots. We started out by playing around with the idea of light and dark, 'diamond reflecting', so went down to Stratford where they have lots of interesting night light and took it from there. We also shot part of the video in Brixton after a night out -we ended up in the skate park and I knew I wanted to shoot amongst all the graffiti and interesting characters on their skateboards. I wanted to move between harsh and soft images, so going from the skate park to the moving willows.
The video was shot by one of the best up & coming DOP’s in London, Alex Odam, who has worked with “The House of Pharoes” as well as other up and coming artists and musicians. Alex was quite happy for me to take control of what I wanted visually but we shared a very similar vision, so once on location we just went with the flow and experimented with different things.
How does the video compliment the song?
The track itself has a breezy, dream-state quality. The combination of soulful vocals, supported by gritty hip hop tones, and laced with Hawaiian, washy electric guitar makes for a quirky mix. The track is best described as alternative pop with an electronic, experimental twist. It was produced by the very talented Nossapollo who worked on Craig David’s most recent album.
So yes, this video compliments the song in both imagery and meaning. 'DiAMOND' is about someone letting their light and energy reflect outwards and sharing that luminosity with other people even in dark times - as in the song lyrics "you're just like a diamond.....shine your light on me."
This light and dark contrast is played out in the video - the contrast of day and night, and of natural greenery with grey, grim high rise buildings. These contrasts reflected the heavier side of the track where the hip hop beats and the vocals get quite gritty in contrast to the dreaminess of the vocal floating over the top in the lighter, more natural scenes. And as always, for me, the whole process is experimental and creative - not just the music but also the video.
Any behind the scenes stories?
Well let's just say London didn’t let us down on the weather front, we shot the video over the period of a couple of months and it still seemed to tip it down with rain at one point or another, but then again, it inspired one of the main locations in the video, so all worth it!
Tell us about the ideas/themes/imagery used?
The main concept of the track and the video is the play on light and dark, positive and negative, bright and shadow, colours and clean etc.
The intro of the video was dreamy and free which complimented the improvised vibe melodies, with a sample of the vocal, with strum of guitar. Spaced out, airy pads and lots of natural, knocks and percussion. Bending sounds to compliment the twang in the vocal. I particularly loved the contrast of city life in contrast to the peace of the green spaces. I loved how the wind moved with the willows - like everything was moving in unison and in harmony with its surroundings for a moment.
I also wanted this video to be an opportunity for people to get to know me as a person - a working artist, wandering around the streets of London, showing them the places I hang out in and to capturing the visuals I see through my eyes. I wanted this video to be laid back, and less structured compared to my last release 'TYPiCAL'. This video for me was intended to be free, easy watching.
What message do you hope people take away from watching the video?
The main message I’m sending is to tell others that they are loved and accepted just the way they are, that they should share their light with the world - not be holding it back from themselves and others. We all need as much love as we can get in this world right now and if you can’t start by showing the people around you who love and care about you, what's the hope! I’m all about the love - do not be afraid of who you are, shine bright like a diamond and reflect that positivity onto others, that's what makes the world go round after all.
Interview feature by Karla Harris
Interview feature by Karla Harris