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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Music through a visual screen

The pairing of music to invigorating visuals to make a well-executed music video has become its own industry in many aspects. Luckily, thanks to the KDVS Music Video contest, the art form of making music videos is no longer in the exclusive hands of massive industries belonging to MTV, VH1 or other forms of corporate media.

The to-be-annual KDVS music video contest allows local musicians and art enthusiasts in the Davis and Sacramento area to express themselves through a new kind of medium: film.

Prompted by the desire to bring local musicians to light, Matthew Torres, graduating UCD student and assistant studio tech for KDVS, created the music video contest in hopes of promoting an incentive for artistic creation within the community.

“It’s the synergy of it: giving a voice, attention and publicity to those who don’t have it,” Torres said. “Even though they’re not seeking it, it happens in a fun way. It’s a learning experience through music and other mediums, too. In the same vein of community, it’s about each artist or musician being a part of Davis.”

With the help of current KDVS general manager, Neil Ruud, Torres created a guideline for submissions, which were collected from March 1 through May 15. Guidelines included that someone from the band or film crew be from the Davis-Sacramento area, consent for the usage of original music and a video run of less than six minutes. The winners were chosen based on a variety of factors on a complex matrix of consideration.

With such a large variety of genres ranging from folk, rap, hip-hop, bluegrass, foreign, experimental, etc., submissions were scaled upon time that went into editing, effort, quality of music, etc.

The KDVS music video contest winners received prizes donated by local sponsors and agencies such as Watermelon Music.

Winner: “Kitchen Raps” by Randy Random Abiladeze Murray, Leejay Abucayan and Ruby Ibarra

Among the large variety of submission, hip-hop topped off the list with “Kitchen Raps.” The opening scene starts out with Random Abiladeze answering the door with a humorous “What the hell?””Kitchen Raps” is six minutes of pure entertainment and impressive beats.

The video is taken in one continuous shot with the camera rolling to Random Abiladeze and Ibarra’s continuous rhymes layered on top of Abucayan’s beat boxing. Practicing with five takes off camera and 25 takes on-camera, the process was a challenging one.

“I just realized how much I love doing one-take music videos,” Abucayan said. “It’s a tedious process and requires a lot of patience and memorization, but the end result is just so rewarding. I think I want to explore the concept further. Maybe we’ll all do another video.”

The three artists have been collaborating and making music together since Ibarra met Random Abiladeze at the 2007 SickSpits Poetry Slam and Abucayan at the Filipino-American organization on campus before they graduated over two years ago.

During the process of filming and experimenting with choreography, the three got to know each other better. In particular, Random Abiledeze learned more about the Filipino culture and how the process brought them closer together.

“I thought Ruby was just droppin’ it like it’s hot,” Random Abiledeze said. “But after several comments about her, I found out she was doing a cultural dance called the ‘otso otso.’ I also learned about Mang Tomas sauce. I already knew they were dope, so I wasn’t surprised that they did such a great job. It was an honor to be involved.”

With the chemistry captured on tape, there’s no doubt that the three have a great passion for what they do while they learn from one another as artists.

“I learned the importance of being comfortable enough with your craft so you can jam spontaneously with other artists,” Ibarra said. “It also reminded me that although practicing is important, connecting with your art and fellow artists is just as important.”

Runner-ups: Agent Ribbon’s “Dada Girlfriend” by Chelsea Wolfe, White Gold by Sevi Katur, “Dear Langston” by Delorean and Sami Abdou, and Wet Lab’s “Vet Dreams” by Margot Law.

Honorable mentions: Please Quiet Ourselves’ “Ideal Roomates” by Elisa Hough and The MagiKool Doods’ “I got the runs/Golden Shower for the World”.

For more information on featured artists, videos, and list of the KDVS music video contest winners, make sure to check out kdvs.org.

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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