Up-and-coming UK rap artist Jeshi is celebrating the release of his latest track ‘Inside Out’ with a new music video shot in Japan by PUSH director Mike Sunda with post-production and VFX completed by Heckler Singapore.
A visual homage to Japanese director Takeshi Kitano’s film Sonatine, in the opening scene Jeshi is in Shinjuku City, Tokyo, suited up and getting into a scuffle with some locals. This prompts him to leave the city with his crew to lie low. We see Jeshi and his friends pausing during a road trip as they leave for the coastal suburbs.
PUSH director Mike Sunda said long before he moved to Tokyo, one of his entry points into Japanese culture were the films of Takeshi Kitano.
“I think this influence was sitting deep in my subconscious when I read a Guardian interview with Jeshi where he references a pivot away from retaliatory violence in London, and the image of him in a suit — like Kitano’s own protagonist in Sonatine — along with the thematic crossover, immediately cemented in my mind.”
Sunda added that the goal was to feel cinematic and encapsulate an entire narrative arc within the track’s short run-time, which naturally means a lot is left open to interpretation.
“Jeshi already does such an incredible job in creating a rich sense of place through his lyricism, but his tracks are naturally about London, so it was fun taking that essence and then going through the exercise of applying it to Tokyo.
“It meant that we could focus in on an aesthetic that leant into urban grit and suburban ennui, which allowed us to explore a side of Japan that is still true to our lived experience, but less commonly captured on film compared to the more picturesque alternatives.”
Working alongside Sunda, Heckler lead editor Andrew Holmes cut the track.
Holmes says: “This was the first time teaming up with Jeshi and Mike and it was an incredible experience. I love working on these film projects, because of the creative freedom, the room for experimentation, and for the chance to collaborate with different artists and directors.
“The footage was shot on 16mm film, so it was pivotal that we carried that same aesthetic approach into the edit. We had a lot of fun building and shaping sequences using the natural film textures.”
Director: Mike Sunda
Director of Photography: Victor Ivanov
Post Production: Heckler Singapore
Executive Producer: Charu Menon
Senior VFX Producer: Xinhui Zheng
Editor: Andrew Holmes
Grade: Pete Ritchie
VFX: Cody Amos & Yong Soon Ong
Online and Compositing: Davor Zec, Johnson Lim & Azreena Ahmad
IO: Craig Woo & Zackery Wang