#Watchlist: Seun Opabisi & Kewa Oni On Directing Ladipoe’s “Jaiye”

October 18, 2019

For creators, inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. That’s why we created #Watchlist — a series that asks Nigerian video directors to list the most interesting things that influenced their creative choices while shooting.


Sometime in the near future, people will look back at 2019 and wonder how we paid so little attention to Ladipoe’s “Jaiye”. One of the best written and produced songs of the year, accompanied by a near-perfect music video, it’s downright criminal that this boisterous anthem isn’t a bigger hit.

That being said, it’s a little comforting that the video, directed by Seun Opabisi and Kewa Oni, got some love at the Headies: landing a nod for ‘Best Music Video’. So, we decided to have the duo break down, in great detail, all the influences and choices that led them to such an awe-inspiring final cut.

On main inspiration:

The tone of the song informed all we did with the video. “Jaiye” is a celebration of life and culture, and it was one of those rare moments where every single person was in complete agreement regarding the direction.

There’s an essence to every song, a feeling that you get from listening. When we’re developing music videos, we draw inspiration from that feeling, not necessarily the lyrics — giving us more creative wiggle room.

With “Jaiye”, the feeling you get when you listen to the song is joy. So, we decided to explore that, using Lagos as our backdrop. It was us simply asking, “wherever you’re from, what’s joy to you?”

On intended narrative:

Lagos is a melting pot for different subcultures, all of which are a part of an even larger community of artistic expression. At the core of “Jaiye” was a message telling people to go out there and have the time of their lives. 

So, we wanted to make a video that explored the common ground between these different creators and, at the same time, portrayed how dynamic Lagos is. And we wanted Ladipoe to be the central figure in this narrative.

Our video treatment had a line about Poe being the “conductor” of the movement and, in the final sequence, you see him doing music conductor hand gestures. It’s like, at that moment, he had his fingers on the pulse of the city.

On visual references:

We’re both huge fans of Guy Ritchie and sports campaigns. So, in pre-production, we went through a pool of different TV spots and scenes with fast-paced, high-octane energy and used them as our homework.

We wanted to make something that could be mistaken for a TV commercial, and we were greatly influenced by Guinness ads set in Africa. They tend to portray our culture and lifestyle without resorting to poverty porn.

Nike: Take It To The Next Level

Guinness: The Ticket

Nike: Nothing Beats A Londoner

Guinness: Thierry Henry

On performance references:

A phrase that stuck with us throughout the process was: “Lagos is an attack on your senses”. To enhance that feeling, we knew we wanted Poe and our performers moving around Lagos, showcasing its different sides.

So, one of our priorities was to have Poe performing as he navigated spaces, whether he was on a rooftop or a souped-up vehicle. Our references for his rhythm and performance styles came from other similar music videos.

Devlin — “50 Grand” ft. Skepta

Kwesta — “Spirit” ft. Wale

On casting and styling:

In terms of looks, we wanted: vibrant, stylistic and authentic. Our production designer, Tunji, and stylists, Bubu Ogusi and Stephen Tayo helped us achieve this via the set design and street style outfits.

This also helped inform our casting decisions and location choices. Real footballers, real BMX riders and more. Most of them in the video are performing in the same neighbourhoods they do in real life.

On the oddest influence:

The temperature in Lagos, oddly enough, came into play. So, if you look around the video, there are a lot of references to fire — from the coffin to the body paint on our BMX riders.

NerdEfiko

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

November 22, 2019

Sarz and WurlD recently dropped a fantastic joint EP, I LOVE GIRLS WITH TROBUL — a project about love and messy relationships. Prior to its release, the duo unveiled a fitting video for standout track, “EGO”. The Chukwuka Nwobi-directed clip, which follows a couple post-breakup, perfectly captures one of the project’s core themes. So, we […]

February 5, 2021

Last year, Netflix finally and officially came to Nigeria. This means they opened a social media account dedicated to Nigerian content on their streaming service and increased their Nigerian content on the service as well as commissioned more Netflix Originals to be made. However, the sheer number of movies and shows on Netflix are overwhelming […]

October 11, 2019

Too many Nigerian music videos are boring retreads of already tired concepts. That’s why we created #WatchThis — a weekly series that will dutifully curate visuals from the past week that deserve your attention. Patoranking — “Open Fire” ft. Busisiwa  When it comes to music videos, Patoranking has been killing the game for a while […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

August 5, 2021

When it comes to games night ideas you can play with friends, it is best to consider the people you’ll be inviting so you can choose games that each person will enjoy. Not every time truth or dare, or never have I ever. Here are 8 game night ideas you can play with your friends. […]

August 5, 2021

You need to pass a message with the hairstyle you wear on a first date. Just like your accessories, your hairstyle also speaks volumes. These hairstyle options are strictly for women who date men. 1. The Machine hairstyle I am not sure if it is a jet, or a bicycle or an aeroplane. The point […]

Recommended Quizzes

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

More from #Watchlist

February 5, 2021

Last year, Netflix finally and officially came to Nigeria. This means they opened a social media account dedicated to Nigerian content on their streaming service and increased their Nigerian content on the service as well as commissioned more Netflix Originals to be made. However, the sheer number of movies and shows on Netflix are overwhelming […]

November 29, 2019

The most essential Nigerian star of the past two years, Burna Boy kicked off 2019 with the clip for his Zlatan-assisted gem, “Killin Dem”. While the song actually dropped in 2018, the dynamic video helped turn the banger into one of the year’s biggest hits. So, as the video just crossed 20 million views on […]

November 22, 2019

Sarz and WurlD recently dropped a fantastic joint EP, I LOVE GIRLS WITH TROBUL — a project about love and messy relationships. Prior to its release, the duo unveiled a fitting video for standout track, “EGO”. The Chukwuka Nwobi-directed clip, which follows a couple post-breakup, perfectly captures one of the project’s core themes. So, we […]

November 15, 2019

After a few 2019 songs that didn’t really take off, Teni finally landed another major hit with her aspirational banger, “Billionaire”. Now, she’s dropped a video for the single, and thanks to the vision of one of the year’s busiest directors, TG Omori, it’s easily her best one to date. The video has already amassed […]

November 8, 2019

Tems is easily one of 2019’s most original breakout stars. Her anthemic third single, “Try Me” has been readily embraced by a wide audience, and its Ademola Falomo-directed clip, which also happens to Tems’ first-ever music video, has been a big part of that success. So, as the video nears a million views on YouTube, […]

October 25, 2019

Following her game-changing record deal with Universal Music Group, Tiwa Savage came out with her first single of 2019, the Fela-inspired “49-99”. As great as the song was, the Meji Alabi-directed video that accompanied it was even better. So, as Tiwa recently visited Genius to explain the track’s meaningful lyrics, we at Zikoko decided to […]

October 18, 2019

Nonso Amadi — “What Makes You Sure?” While they never really break the mould, Nonso Amadi’s music videos are always, at the very least, gorgeously shot and narratively cohesive. For his latest effort, “What Makes You Sure?”, he ups the game with even more vibrant cinematography and a compelling side story. The Seyi Akinlade-directed video […]

October 18, 2019

Sometime in the near future, people will look back at 2019 and wonder how we paid so little attention to Ladipoe’s “Jaiye”. One of the best written and produced songs of the year, accompanied by a near-perfect music video, it’s downright criminal that this boisterous anthem isn’t a bigger hit. That being said, it’s a little […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X