August 2010: DJ CXL, Drew, Erakah, Fistful of Gems, For Da Grind, Hollie Smith, Ivy Lies, J Williams

The girlier things in life, the missing badness, minimalist makeup, space adventures, the old days, getting dressed, an insane asylum and where the boys aren’t. Also, do you like K.One? Because he’s featured three times.

DJ CXL featuring Erakah & K.One “Natural”

With vocals from Erakah and K.One, DJ CXL delivers a sweet, romantic urban tune. It’s a lot like the sort of thing that P-Money was doing in the ’00s, only with Erakah anchoring the song with her soul vocals. The video puts CXL and the lads out in a cool urban setting, while Erakah enjoys the girlier things in life, including a shopping excursion with her girlfriends. The song is an uplifting jam, and as a result, even a shot of Erakah outside on an overcast, grey Auckland day still manages to feel sunny.

Director: Patriarch

Drew “Get Over You” – missing


Despite the “Get Over You” video being released to great fanfare in 2011, there’s no sign of the debut single by former McDonald’s Young Entertainers star and C4 host Drew Neemia. And this is a terrible thing. Behold this description of the video from a Stuff article titled Bad NZ music videos:

While he’s running frantically through a high-rise building, the (we assume) woman of his heart is sprawling on a box, touching herself like she’s got some sort of rash, surrounded by a quartet of men wearing masks like Jason from the horror movie Friday the 13th. Quite bizarre.

The video was apparently Drew’s idea. All we have left is that description, the above enticing screen grab and a small snippet in this compilation, where he can be seen looking sharp in a suit, strutting and running around the highrise. Why has the video been taken down? Why can’t the New Zealand public enjoy such potentially misjudged delights? Whyyyyy?

Director: Rachel Davies
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Erakah featuring K.One “In Or Out”

The “In Or Out” video is hilarious. Erakah and a couple of her pals are taking part in a fashion shoot. But it’s not an ordinary fashion shoot – all the crew – photographers, make-up artists, etc – are all fit guys only wearing underwear. Even better – Erakah doesn’t even notice. She’s a pro so she just delivers her video performance while all these near-naked men fuss around her. And just in case this seemed a bit exploitive when K.One shows up for his guest rap, he’s surrounded by female make-up artists in their underwear. It feels like a very New Zealand video treatment – we have the underwear-clad models, but we’re not perving at them.

Director: Anthony Plant

Fistful of Gems “Diamond”

The “Diamond” video creates a B-grade 1980s sci-fi world. Singer Dawn Marble plays a pink-haired, blue-skinned alien who is involved with a complicated series of events involving pyramids, crystals, people tapped in crystal, ornamental mini disco balls, and even more crystals. While the video does have a cheap look to it, it’s still a fully realised sci-fi world. Everything works, and at five and a half minutes long, the video doesn’t ever resort to using lazy repeated scenes with its animation. It’s an ambitious epic.

Director: Simon Ward

For Da Grind “I See Forever In You”

“I See Forever in You” is a very straightforward love song. It’s not cool, just sweet — love has no room for sexy irony. The video follows an old man watching a home movie of his love. She’s always dressed very properly, hair up with a string of pearls, but evidently this was all he needed. We also see black and white clips of the band, singing in a suburban house. One of the band members is wearing sunglasses and there is debate in the YouTube comments over this as an artistic choice in the video, as there should be. I suspect the appeal of this video is directly tied to the song – if you love the song, you’ll like the video just as much.

Director: Greg Buckley

Hollie Smith “Will You Be the One”

The video opens with Hollie lying naked on the floor, next to a smashed-up piano. Oh my goodness! The events that have led to this startling situation are told in reverse, with Hollie slowly pulling on clothes, shoes and accessories, while the piano pulls itself together. Of all the reverse videos, this is one that’s not doing it for laughs. The footage is black and white, and the shots have a slow poetry to them, as if everything is conspiring to make things ok for Hollie. It’s very compelling.

Director: Faye McNeil
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Ivy Lies “I Lie Awake”

“I Like Awake” is a step away from Ivy Lies earlier power-punk-pop sound. The folky ballad inspires a romantic madhouse aesthetic. The lead singer is found out in the Volcanic Plateau wearing a strapless dress in front of a snow-covered Ruapehu – it looks freezing! The video also features the band in an old-fashioned insane asylum (you know, the kind found in music videos, where all the patients rock and twitch), where they get straitjackets and electroshock therapy, all the while still looking elegantly dishevelled in their white frocks.

Director: James Solomon

J Williams featuring K.One “Night of Your Life”

“Night of Your Life” is a bog-standard late 2000s electronic-inspired R&B tune. The video creates a pool party, which mainly involves J, about two of his male friends, and a whole lot of women. It’s an odd set-up — were they having a girls-only pool party and J crashed it? Weirdly enough, for a pool party, no one actually gets in the pool. They just dance around it, staying behind the glass safety barrier. The video also features one of the party guests who is seen passed out/sleeping on the floor, wearing only underwear and a robe. What happened to her isn’t clear, but she’s very happy when her iPhone rings and it’s J Williams.

Director: Anthony Plant

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