Soweto-based DJ Phatstoki makes directorial debut with edgy ‘Dirty Dancing’ music video

Young Soweto-based photographer, filmmaker and DJ Gontse More, better known under alias Phatstoki, has already made leaps and bounds in their creative career. For their latest project, they shot and directed the music video for DJ Spoko and Matias Aguayo’s new joint Dirty Dancing.

We chat to Phatstoki about Dirty Dancing, the experience of shooting their first music video, and their creative process.

How did your collaboration with Spoko and Matias come about?
Matias was in Johannesburg at the time (he’s based in Berlin) and he’d heard about my work. He looked me up, contacted me and asked me to direct the video for the first single off of his and DJ Poko’s joint EP Dirty Dancing. I explained that I have little to no motion picture experience, and that I had only recently started working at indie tv/film company, goodcop.tv. He seemed cool with it, so I was like phuck it, I took the challenge.

The video relies on a multiscreen aesthetic and the composition of the frames is reminiscent of the way you compose your photographs. Can you tell us more about the creative process?
When I heard the song, I immediately knew that I wanted the video to be raw rather than visually appealing, to emphasise the city itself and to keep it authentic. I wanted to give off the idea of looking at familiar spaces a little differently, as I often try to do with my own work. Matias seemed to like my photography work, so I decided to stay true to my way of communicating visuals. The video was an attempt at capturing real life with the idea of someone’s thoughts as a filter. The use of multiple layers, frames and split screens were catalysts for that filter.

Each frame shows some kind of movement or transition (whether by car, taxi or foot). How did you decide on this route?
The video is about documenting the average Joburgers’ life. Transportation is a good means of portraying this. We travel by ourselves in this city but we’re never alone, you know? The video is shot in a handheld style and gives off the idea that one is traveling or moving toward something while dreaming or thinking.

 

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