The South Georgia native, r&b/hip-hop artist, rapper, and singer-songwriter KunD! returns with an atmospheric short film/EP visualizer for his recent 6-track project, 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes.'
Born from a soulful ambiance, the explorative artist is continually experimenting with new sounds through his velvet riffs, rich harmonies, and passionate vocal stylings. It's without a doubt that any listener will appreciate the unique listening experience that KunD! has to offer, as his structure-less lyrical style and raw/melodic vocals put anyone in a deep trance.
KunD! recently delved into a unique sonic/visual experience with help from videographer and co-director Gaea for his twelve-minute EP visualizer, 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes.' When speaking about the project itself, KunD! mentioned that the EP celebrates life's ups and downs while emphasizing the low points and cycles of darkness. "With this visual, I hope to bring the sonic experience of the EP to life in a way that viewers and listeners can even better connect and relate to," states KunD!.
Expanding on the short film for the 6-track EP, 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes,' the visuals open with dark and hazy purple filters over scenes of a tape being placed in an old-school cassette player. As the psychedelic visuals and edits begin, the sonics hit our speakers with the EP's intro track, "Twilight." Moving through the short film, KunD! emphasizes themes of pain and inner demons through slow-motion and deftly edited scenes where he aches and stares with sadness in his eyes.
As the project's second track, "Nightbounce," meets our speakers, KunD! is accompanied by co-director/model Gaea, where the two set a deep and energetic vibe while grooving to the song and making love to the camera. Through a previous feature with us, we found ourselves deeply submerged into the EP's third track, "Nightbounce, Pt. II," while the visualizer serves all the vibes to amplify our listening experience.
We must mention how deeply we adore the color palette of this short film, as KunD! and his edits contrast between light purple, dark purple, red, pink, and black, emphasizing the heaviness of life's low points while serving a heavy groove for us to remember why we're fighting in the first place. We also feel substantial similarities to The Weeknd's 'After Hours' era, as the low-quality scenes of KunD! running through the Georgia streets during "Apogee (Interlude)" perfectly set the reflective, introspective, and free-feeling atmosphere.
Reaching the fifth track, "Moonwalker," the song's bright sonics pierce through our speakers while KunD! delivers a Michael Jackson-esque dance and exclaims his journey to solace during the darkest of nights. While a sharp and eerie transition meets our speakers with the last track, "Final Phase/Dawn," the visuals offer this conceptual take where KunD! captures the peace and serenity of dawn, almost as if he shot the video during one long and reflective night. The visuals for this track flee from the video's dark and colored edits, as KunD! delivers his heart and soul while basking in the glory of nature's natural tones, perfectly ending the short film with boundless inspiration to escape from old and toxic cycles.
Don't miss out on the entire visual experience that KunD! offers within his latest short film for the 6-track EP, 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes,' now available to watch on YouTube and Vimeo.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic, KunD!. We're truly in awe of the atmospheric vibes and tones within your recent visualizer for 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes.' What initially inspired you to create a short film for the project?
Thank you, it’s great to be working with you guys again. I was initially inspired to make this short film because I wanted to express the journey of ‘O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes’ in a visual format. I wanted people to have another way to envelop themselves in the experience of that project, in the experience of darkness. After creating the project with that experience as the vision, I felt that the sonics alone weren’t enough to fully capture the feelings and emotions I was trying to convey. With the visual, I felt that I would truly be doing this idea justice.
We get the feeling that your short film for 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes' was shot and recorded during one long night. Is this the case? What was the entire filming process like?
I’m glad you feel that way because that was the vibe we wanted the visual to give off. But actually, the truth is the exact opposite haha! It took us two whole months to get all the shots for the visual, and about 4 additional months for me to fully edit everything. I worked with my partner, musician, and multi-hyphenate artist, Gaea, and this was the first video that we had ever shot, and the first video I ever edited. We started the process off with storyboarding to figure out the narrative we wanted to use. In tandem with that, I worked on figuring out how to chop the songs so that they would flow with the narrative, and fit within a timeframe of fewer than 13 minutes so that we knew what we’d be shooting for. I would say that was the hardest part; I went through so many different versions and remixes to find the right flow, and because of that, it took a while for me to finally figure out the narrative I truly wanted. I’d say it wasn’t until March earlier this year that I finally knew how I wanted this video to look. We made sure to shoot as many shots as possible so that I would be able to play around with a bunch of variations during the editing process. When shooting we used two lights and made sure to color them either purple or variants of that shade, to help add to the purple vibe of the project. We filmed each song in the order of the EP, and we obviously shot all the shots at night. All of them except for ‘Final Phase/Dawn’ which we stayed up until dawn for, just so we could really get that feeling of being up until the sun came up while shooting.
What was it like working with co-director/model Gaea when filming and shooting your short film for 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes?' How did she help in the creation of the short film?
She was a big help, and working with her was an amazing experience. Not only because it’s cool to be able to work with your best friend, but also because she was able to help bring this experience to life in such a big way. She shot the majority of this film, aside from her modeling shots in ‘Nightbounce’ and other filler shots that were shot by me, and her vision is amazing. We shot with two cameras, one an old Olympus model and the other a Canon DSLR, and they worked wonders. Gaea helped with the storyboarding as well and aided me in creating shots that embodied the narrative and made it flow. She’s so good with the camera; not only was she able to capture the vision that I had for this film so effortlessly, but she helped capture and create shots that I wasn’t even able to see. There were so many times that I remember during the shooting process where she would just be capturing shots off the fly: whether it be the way the lights would reflect off a car outside, or how the light’s would look kind of like a full moon when you zoomed into them real close, or just different scenery when walking around outside. There were so many of those shots that really made the vision come alive, and she was the one behind them. We shot during the pandemic, so we made this entire visual under quarantine vibes, which is really the main reason we took it upon ourselves to do this project just the two of us. But also, we enjoyed exploring a new creative lane for the first time, and the challenge that it posed, and Gaea was a big help in tackling that.
Was there a particular story that you wanted to tell throughout the entirety of your short film for 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes?’
I basically wanted the visual to follow the general storyline and theme of the EP, which is going through the cycle of darkness and doing the work of dealing with your demons and paralleling that with the progression from night to dawn. I wanted to give a visual representation of what that experience was like for me, with the hopes that people could connect and resonate with that while watching. I also wanted the transitions to represent how going through the motions can be pretty jarring; it’s in your face at times, it has its ups and downs, it starts and then stops only to continue again, and at times it really feels like you’re going in circles with everything, which further perpetuates the whole experience. But in the end, you finally become at peace with it all, and you understand that this is just something you just have to accept in life.
During the last seconds of your short film for 'O, Solemn Night: The Pvrple Tapes,' we hear you say, "when a new phase is done, another one just begins." Might this be foreshadowing another era for you? Should we expect more in-depth visualizers like this in the future?
In a sense, yeah! I wanted that phrase to express the act of looking positively ahead, and to focus on moving forward instead of on the bumps that come up along the way. In that same vein, I’m definitely working on what my next phase is musically, so something new is on the way for sure! At the moment, I can’t really say that I know if or when another visual album will come from me again in the future, so I guess we’ll just have to see where my inspiration and creativity will take me next.