I didn't need my alarm clock on the morning of February 4. I woke up without a struggle, which for me is different from a regular morning. This was the morning of the first video shoot for "I Know You're Out There", the first single from my sophomore album dropping this spring '09!
So, it was a 6:30 am rise, with no need for the snooze button, no need for a call from afar to advise me that it's time to get up, no need for the sunlight to beam upon my face. It was easy to rise and shine that morning, and I got up with excitement, with much anticipation, a feeling of ease, a sense of being in the moment that was so destined to be…a day where I had only wished for the best.
I prepared myself for my 8:30am call time, allowing myself enough time to eat breakfast, get showered and dressed before Dean, one of the stylists for the shoot, arrived to take me over to the Pie in the Sky Studios in Toronto where the video was being shot. I'm bad with time management at times but this time I was ready to go at 7:30 am. In comes the call from the stylist that traffic is backed up and there might be a slight delay. As anxious as I was to get the day started decided I couldn't wait in my house as the idleness was driving me crazy, so I had to keep mobile.
I decided to hop on the streetcar and meet Dean closer to the highway which in turn would knock off time to ensure we arrived at the studio for our 8:30 am call time… 7:45 turned into 8:00, 8:00 turned into 8:15, 8:15 turned into 8:30 and still my drive hadn't arrived as by then I was off the streetcar overlooking the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.
Right then I get a call from the producer (John) to find out my whereabouts and to advise that everyone is on set ready to start. By now I was pissed as the whole crew was awaiting my arrival and I was there standing in the cold watching car after car pass and still waiting on my drive.
Finally Dean arrived minutes later. Let's just say I'm glad he had some John Legend playing as it brought a calmness that was needed for me…I still couldn't help but wonder if our lateness was based on traffic or the stylist or a combination of both…I guess 'cause I sometimes struggle with my lateness I needed someone or something to blame for my lateness this time…a rough start indeed it was…but a great ending surfaced…
We arrived a lil' after 9 and without hesitation we got right to work…I headed straight to meet the make up artist (Gracie) and meet with the director of the video (David) who explained the flow of the day and reviewed the concept for the video once again. Then we, along with the stylist, selected the appropriate attire to be worn throughout the shoot.
I then stepped on set and at first the many lights on set came in handy as they thawed me out from my waiting experience in the cold. As the day went on, however, the lights gave off too much heat…talk about giving off a sweat!!!…I think I might have also left a lil' darker and a lil' thinner than I came being under those lights the whole time…
In the morning we worked our way through the non-performance parts of the video which involved me curious as to where the mysterious red cord leads (watch the video you'll see) and me in my thinking space bringing life (writing) to what has birthed and is now my first single, 'I Know You're Out There'.
The meaning of the song is to show appreciation to the many people who have inspired and supported me throughout my life and career and who've made an impact on my life whether great or small which in turn has molded me into the being I am today. It speaks on my gratefulness to the individuals who have contributed to my growth whether it is musically, personally, spiritually and mentally and to express the importance of their existence. Kudos and two thumbs up to David Mewa, the director, who was able to visually capture the written meaning behind the song.
After lunch (Thai food!) we focused on the performance part of the shoot. This part I enjoyed the most, being able to perform the song and deliver the performance aspect of what you'll see in the video. We did three different scenes that were very basic and simple where I performed the song in front of a two simple backdrops.
The latter part of the shoot consisted of features and cameos of friends and family who represented some of the important people in my life …
In closing, thanks to the lovely Rosemary and little Jabari, who both did an amazing job being featured in the video. To the dancers, Kevin and Kerry Ann, thanks for the energy you brought to the video…To those friends and family who came out to do a cameo and/or show me support…thank you!
I can't begin to express how much joy I got out of doing my passion and being surrounded around folks I genuinely care about…words can't capture how it felt to have you all there…you continue to inspire me…and as you sang 'I know you're there for me, do anything for me', my inner spirit without mouthing the words was saying the exact same thing. You truly 'just don't really know how much you mean to me'….
To John and the crew of The NE Inc., what an amazing job you all did! From the Producer (John) and Director (David), who captured the vision from day one, to the Assistant Director (Patrick) who kept it fun with pure jokes all day but remained professional, to the Director of Photography (Ricardo) who captured all the right angles with the help of his Assistant (Michelle) and Gaffer (Devon), to the Art Director (Diana), to the production manager (Rinku) and everyone else behind the scenes…a big thank you!!!
To the camera crew Paul and Shaun from HiProfile, who've been capturing all the behind the scenes footage along this entire journey…thanks for coming out to the shoot and capturing what you do best!
To my Stylists, Dean and Junior, what can I say? A remarkable job you both did! Thanks for making a brotha look and feel great.
Now I patiently await the final video version of 'I Know You're Out There'…
And it's a wrap!!!