Alton Masons Debut Short Film Is an Ode to the Creative Spirit of Lagos – Vogue

The song hes referring to is Masons first single, titled Gimme, Gimme and produced by Kevin-Dave, that is the soundtrack to a coming-of-age short film titled Rise in Light, codirected by Nigerian-American filmmaker Amarachi Nwosu and the Persian-Canadian artist and cinematographer soof Light. The video was initially planned as an introduction to Masons nascent career as a musician, though as the current pandemic began to spread globally, both Mason and Nwosu decided to use it as the foundation for a fundraising effort to support the Khan Foundation, a Lagos-based nonprofit that is currently providing relief supplies to some of Nigerias most vulnerable communities.

Ive worked with the Khan Foundation for two years now, and I have actively seen them change the course of many of these childrens lives in a way that has brought the light out of them, says Nwosu, who is based between Washington, D.C., and Lagos and is the founder of Melanin Unscripted, a creative platform and agency focused on dismantling cultural stereotypes. We wanted to use art and this film as a vessel to do so and lend a supporting hand. For Mason, too, the timing of the release feels strangely apt as an opportunity to help those less fortunate during this time of crisis. Many of us are losing loved ones and businesses, but also our faith and hope, he adds. The film is a call for change, and an expression of love and joywe just hope it can inspire and uplift.

The songs gently rhythmic, laid-back groove feels reflective of Mason himself, who is softly spoken but articulate, deliberate with his choice of words. Writing has been something that I have cherished ever since I was in grade school, Mason explains. Ive always loved poetry and spoken word and kept journals with me wherever I traveled to, so writing music felt natural. The video, meanwhile, begins with Mason playing with a white lion cub in a Lagos apartment before walking the citys streets in a dazzling purple crushed velvet suit designed by the cult Nigerian label Orange Culture (also serving as a wink to one of his musical heroes, Prince). The purple suit represented the aura that was exuded while on the mainland, Mason explains of his collaboration with stylist Ugo Mozie. A purple aura symbolizes healing, spiritual enlightenment, cleansing, and freedom, which are all elements that I felt during my entire trip in Nigeria.

While the films core purpose wasnt about fashion or clothing, we really wanted to represent African designers through this film and spotlight them, Nwosu continues. These designers dont get nearly enough recognition in mainstream media, so this was a chance to place them at the same level you would see other high-end brands and designers. In this sense, the video acts not just as a reflection to the thriving fashion scene at work in Lagos today, seen in the rising profile of the citys annual Arise Fashion Week and the international success of labels like Orange Culture, Kenneth Ize, and Maki Oh, but, with its charitable element, as an act of giving back to the city and its people.

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Alton Masons Debut Short Film Is an Ode to the Creative Spirit of Lagos - Vogue

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