The recent single from British Electronic music duo AlunaGeorge is an aural delight with the warm tones of the impending summer months.
The track provides a fusion of Jamaican dancehall sounds with the easily approachable electronic bass indicative of post 2010 Euro-mainstream hits. The contribution of singer Aluna Francis’ adolescent tone with its ‘London’ schoolgirl pitch is a perfect contradiction to the grittier vocals of the track’s featuring artist, Popcaan. The result is a track that warrants a top spot on the world music charts this summer. Through its decidedly pop core sound does something new through the juxtaposition of Francis’s Brit girl urban tone, its summer bass, and Popcaan’s Jamaican island style heaviness produces a track that is both exciting and easy to listen to.
The music video is not so much an accompanying visual aid to the track, but an integral component to the musical and artistic understanding of the record. It has been a fair while since a music video hasn’t simply served as a complimentary afterthought to a record – a proverbial side dish if you will – pleasant enough but not at all related to the music in any profound way. This is where the music video for AlunaGeorge’s “I’m in control” stands out.
On watching the piece, it is clear that director Emil Nava has worked closely and harmoniously with the artists, in order to create a piece of art that is both video and music.
The music video is set in the Dominican Republic where the people of the Island nation take centre stage alongside Aluna Francis, a Black British songstress who finds herself transported to the Caribbean Isle, which she explores at a leisurely pace in the company of young male and female Dominicans.
The themes of ordinary youthful recreation runs throughout the piece where Aluna plays ‘strip’ chess with a young Dominican man under storefront lights, where the turgid intensity of the Dominican heat is channelled, both climatically and sexually.
Even more striking is the diversity of the Dominican racial experience where people of all races are seen in Aluna’s group reflecting the legacy of Spanish colonialism on the Island. The faces are African, Creole and some Hispanic, this coupled with the distinctly Jamaican tones of Popcaan’s vocal contribution and Francis’s British urban resonance adds to the eclecticism of the piece.
The fusion of music and video is a trans-national delight and an appreciation of black music culture and black culture generally. In all, watch the video and consume the experience.
Words: Annie Byrne-Noonan