The Nigerian entertainment industry has hit that brick wall where it looks like relatively nothing new can come out from the genius minds of Clarence Peters and his cohorts. Nigerian music videos have a unidirectional strategy – it’s either we’re playing turn up in the club (or at some alley in the hustle streets of Lagos) or we go the Nollywood way – drama!
So when we happened upon Darey‘s “Pray For Me“ video off his recent studio compilation release, Naked, and featuring the Soweto Gospel Choir, our excitement heightened. This single is everything and more that an emotive musical piece should be. From the lyrical arrangement to the vocal showcase, the piano chords and the intermittent beating of the gongs; the overall artistic direction on Pray For Me will move you to tears. But if you’re the stoned-heart type, you most certainly will find the goose bump reaction coming from the endodermis of your skin.
The video opens with a father-son dialogue featuring industry veteran, Olu Jacobs (and his wife, Joke Silva who also makes a riveting cameo in the implosive visual. Darey says he’s going to the city. The expression he wears on his contoured face immediately relays defeat, a reluctance to remain in the status quo and an internal struggle to keep moving on, only elsewhere from home. You can see that proper detailing was taken into serious account for this video – Darey’s Nigerwax fabric that was sewn into those traditional regalias of old, the vintage slip-on, his travel pack, the sandy locations and the Volvo 240; evokes sentiments borne out of a prime era but yet defining the sense of class retained in the video. Olu and Joke deliver their theatrical show like iconic taste makers in the art that they have otherwise ascended to becoming in their field. Even the trees that glisten in their greens are an indicators of hope as he journeys away in search of a better pasture. But because nobody said it’ll be easy, Darey applies himself to the typical hurdles one has to scale in life, and the staggering blows it deals as one finds his way to the top.
Pray For Me is so emotionally entertaining and with a gripping edge to it that almost doesn’t let you remember that it’s a 5-minute long video (as against the usual barely 4-minute music videos we’re used to seeing often time). To be honest, as the viewing progressed, I became even more ecstatic to see the name of who put together a dynamic order of slayage into pictures. The play on contrast of colours, close-up shots, aerial pans and the overall video plot adaptation was too much and a very well deserved score. MEX directed it! For him, this feat alone shoots his general ranking by two stars up and it makes him an unquestionable nominee for Oscar Video Director in 2016. Darey on the other hand makes a breaking and timed entry since his video release snags the first contending position for Video of the Year in 2016. It is also without doubt that Darey’s Pray For Me will be pulling rave reviews, encomiums and awards for such adept ingenuity shown. If it doesn’t, then award show companies and voters especially really need to get checked. That one is crystal!
Written by Jim Donnett