Since Nelly Furtado and Timbaland released Say it Right it has been one of my all-time favourite music videos. Each frame a considered image and a photograph in itself. So to find out quite a while later that it was actually Rankin who had directed it was quite a surprise (I had an internship with his studio whilst I was at university so have been following his work). Looking back at the video with this knowledge that he directed it, it is now obvious, the imagery is so clearly his.
Say it Right is essentially a simple theme, each cut is a still photograph brought to life; you could freeze at any point and it would produce a great photograph. It's all very polished and that's the way Rankin likes it. Everything is set just right, the lighting, the sun burst, the framing throughout each and every cut. Even though this video is nearly 5 years old, it still has a completely timeless quality to it and it is still as fresh today as it was in 2006.
Fast-forward to one of the newest and most current artists on the UK music scene right now and you get Labrinth. He's previously produced for Tinie Tempah, getting to Number 1 with Pass Out and Number 2 with Frisky, but now he's going solo with his first single, Let the Sunshine.
You can imagine my surprise again, when I see that the video for Let the Sunshine, which I love the photography in, turns out to be directed by Rankin too. Let the Sunshine is great on the radio, but on recently having more time to watch the music channels I've come across the video, it adds so much more. In Rankin style, the video is again one that could be seen in stills. The sun bursts and flare, the colours used against the plain background and the ommision of dancers, make the images seem stripped down without being minimal; your eyes are still fixated on the content.
Syco, Simon Cowell's record company have got Labrinth teamed up with some great people; a recent show at the Louis Vuitton apartment, styling by ayishat&louize and a video direction by Rankin. Syco are clearly trying to move Labrinth into the realms of Kanye West (before the MTV Awards Taylor Swift episode), Jay-z and dare I say P. Diddy, each of whom have broken into influencing not just music but style and have not been trapped completely with the stereotypical "rapper" label.
As much as the music video's by the above artists are over the top, contain more cars, planes and helicopters than I will probably ever travel in and cost more than my flat is worth the photography in them is always perfect, polished and stil-worthy. I am looking forward to seeing who Rankin will direct next.
Let the Sunshine by Labrinth on Syco is available on Spotify and can be downloaded now. Say it Right, Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland was released on Geffen Records in 2006. You can view behind the scenes clips and other films and videos by Rankin on Rankin.com. Images sourced from Nelly's YouTube page and Labrinth's YouTube page.