come closer | take two

July 03, 2017

words by: Vane Karolle

There was quite a cross continental buzz around the release of Wizkid's Come Closer song and video - in March and April respectively, this year. The Nigerian Afrobeats star is no stranger to fame, but this one's pushing him just a bit further into the international limelight. 

What we're interested in here, though, is a little visual evolution. 

The Nigerian-born American director Oladapo ‘Daps’ Fagbenle helmed the first version of the Come Closer video - and it's a clear expression of Wizkid's appreciation of his culture, with dancers clad in African-inspired prints, accessories and facial art. But I can't help but notice the afropop star's style disconnect from his dancers in this one. 

The static, neutrally colored backdrop isn't all that impactful either - rather quite boring, dare I say. And while we may never know, I'm guessing the mediocrity of the former video prompted the creation of this new, still yet-to-be-officially released version: this on directed and produced by the renowned American director Alan Ferguson (aka Solange's husband). 

This one'll have your eyes fixed to the screen through the very end. Then repeat. 

A gorgeously diverse cast includes the Senegalese model and anti-bullying activist Khoudia Diop (aka the Melanin Goddess), the Guinean model Sira Kante (playing Wizkid's love interest here), the dancer Najla Gilliam, and more - it's a vibrant, layered, exciting watch. 

There's a color and couture upgrade here as well: stylist Ugo Mozie always delivers. The fashion savvy will catch gorgeous designs from African marques like Globetrotter favorite Loza Maleombho. 

And let's applaud the thoughtful, natural choreography. That particular, carefree hip gyration in so many of the scenes is sure to catch on quickly - expect people to be trying it out on respective dance floors. 

There was quite a fuss over Drake's non-appearance in the video - he lends a verse, but not his presence. But the vocal collaboration itself has inched Wizkid that much closer to international saturation. And with the release of this new visual, Drake won't be missed.

Like an amplified, modern day tribute to Janet Jackson's now classic Got Til It's Gone video, Ferguson's effort recalls the joyful radiance of New York's Everyday People parties, the effortless groove of Dakar's Kool Grawoul beach fetes, and of course, all things Lagos. 

Concept: Check, Cast: Check, Location: Check, Styling: Check, Choreography: Check.

Check, on all of it.

Top image c/o Kwaku Alston

Directed & Produced by Alan Ferguson
Set | Dorothee Baussan
Wizkid's Fashion | Ugo Mozie      
Assist |  Tori Elzabeth ,  Noah Raf
Cast Fashion | Solange Franklin     
Choreography | Tanisha Scott
Braids | Guingui
Hair | Helena Moke
Makeup | Chichi Saito
Nails | EriEri Lady

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