AN OPEN LETTER TO NIGERIAN CHRISTIAN MUSIC ARTISTES/MINISTERS ON QUALITY OF MUSIC VIDEOS

I am writing to you from the place of love and desire to see your intellectual work being valued NOT from the angle of ridiculing your work. If you like, you may also see this as a criticism however, constructive. I am going to encourage that you read this with an open mind and objectively too.

Warning! brace up as you may find yourself on this table that is about to be “broken”.

It is one thing to record a track or tracks for an album but making an excellent video for these tracks is entirely a different ball game. It is worthy of note that there are a few excellently made music videos in circulation but the ratio compared to the number of songs/albums released per time cannot be placed side-by-side.

I want to ask at this point – what’s usually on your mind when you think of making a music video for your song{s}?

Why do I ask? I have seen/reviewed some music videos from both old timers as well as the freshers in this circle and I am sometimes left wondering how anyone would shoot a below par video for their songs.

Interestingly, some of these songs are excellently done in terms of recording, mix and mastering so you are forced to wonder what changed at the point of video making.

What makes a good music video is the story the lyrics is telling, if that story telling is not adequately captured in/with the video, you may end up leaving your audience with a catchy song but not a good story to remember or let me say with wrong illustration of the message you intend to pass across.

I am really tempted to give some examples of the videos I have seen, but I worry some of these artistes would read this and definitely know “this is me on this table”. But then this letter is supposed to serve as a mirror so I may as well just drop some examples.

But before we proceed, it’s imperative to establish the types/forms of music videos which include –

 

  1. Performance videos: This kind focuses on the performance though some come with a narrative that demonstrates the meaning of the lyrics which is the core of the entire work and that makes it more visually appealing. Having this kind of music video well structured helps prevent it from being unappealing and boring. One of the key advantages of performance video is the realistic feel it gives your audience such that they imagine being live at your performance/recording.

 

  1. Narrative videos: This kind is created more like a short film rather than a “music video”. Sometimes it doesn’t have a lip-synching singing but relates in some kind of way to the lyrics of the song. It is expected to make the artiste’s intention visible and in a way that it is easily followed and understood. If the narrative is not properly crafted, it can be confusing and easily misunderstood.

 

 

  1. Concept videos: This is quite different from the two above in that it necessarily doesn’t have a story line nor relate to the lyrics. However, it usually captures a bit of both performance and narrative to help the audience understand the music video and not leave them confused. One major disadvantage though is the artiste potentially being at an identity risk especially if the artiste isn’t captured in the concept.

Now let’s do some review.

  1. Your song talks about the potency of the power of God and you have a video concept of an enemy not only pointing a gun at you, but actually pulling the trigger. Miraculously the gun didn’t fire. What I struggle to understand is how you in turn lay hands on that enemy to “deliver” him from whatever spirit, and finally dispose him of the gun and you walk away with the gun in your hands. How realistic do you think that is, you carrying a gun that isn’t registered to you and walking on the street with it? Isn’t there a better way to illustrate the potency of God’s power?

 

  1. You have decided to make some sort of performance video and basically made a slow-motion all through from beginning to the end. So, we can hear the song playing real time but watching a slow-motion video. What you have successfully done is either confusing your audience or killed their interest in watching such video. It will be a different story if the slow-motion {which isn’t in itself bad for the video} happens as an editing effect at some point in your video, but having the entire video come as a slow-motion is a NO.

 

  1. Your song basically talks about the faithfulness of God in your life journey and you have decided to shoot a concept video for it. Now we watch the video and flashes of rocks, rivers, water-falls, cloud, and other unrelated images takes the screen. The question to be asked or answered is if your song is centered around nature as against the faithfulness of God. Perhaps, images of your existence from childhood and other significant events of your life would suffice. You could as well have sourced for other creative images that illustrate God being faithful rather than getting your audience confused and ultimately uninterested in that video.

 

The above examples aren’t fictions, I actually saw the videos played on television and I said to myself they must have passed for the need for content and not necessarily quality. I imagined being a content manger for a television station and putting the videos through standard quality check, I am sure you can guess what would have happened to the videos.

There are technical aspects of a music video that you should not brush aside when developing your thoughts on shooting a music video. These include; camerawork, movement and angle, mis-en-scene, editing, and sound. The post production where themes, melody and lyrics also come in handy.

I encourage you read about these technical aspects as it facilitates a robust discussion during your conceptualization and production meeting with your cinematographer and editors.

There is the popular saying- “what is worth doing at all, is worth doing well” and that’s not far from the truth about the idea of making your music video.

The thing is you don’t have to necessarily call the shots because its your video, trust me when I say ownership of song/video isn’t in contention. If you have to engage the services of script writers, concept developers and critiques just so you can deliver excellently, please do.

Excellence is not cheap however; you can’t compromise on anything short of it. The saying is “Its better late than never” but I dare say it’s better late than rushing only to appear a mediocre.

Look around you, there are few persons who have gotten it right when it comes to quality and excellence {kudos to them}, don’t be ashamed to ask questions on how they got it right. Engage the services of the professionals with track record of excellent delivery, be teachable and ready to listen to good suggestions having passed through the litmus test of excellence and at the end it will be to your advantage. Remember your work most likely will travel faster and farther than you, make it count.

I shall be hoping to see things done differently after now.

Please accept my warmest regards.

 

Babatope Adefunmilayo.

About Naija Gospel Beats

Check Also

ANY MAN THAT GIVES YOU MONEY TO VOTE WILL NOT PERFORM__ pst David Ibiyeomie 1

ANY MAN THAT GIVES YOU MONEY TO VOTE WILL NOT PERFORM__ pst David Ibiyeomie

ANYBODY PAYING MONEY TO BE VOTED IS A DULL LEADER FIRST CLASS STUDENTS DON’T SORT …

3 comments

  1. Beautiful write up, the knowledge will spread to the world and we will be better for it

  2. Well accurate. God bless you

  3. Thank you for this