London artist PAULi is no rookie to the music scene. In the past, he’s worked with the likes of Damon Albarn, Gorillaz, FKA Twigs, Jamie xx, and more. However, today PAULi is ready to give listeners a proper introduction to who he is as an artistic individual. 

Today PAULi shares stunning visuals to pair with the release of his debut EP The Idea of Tomorrow. Allowing viewers into his world for a short moment, PAULi brings the five tracks on his EP to life in the Rohan Blair-Mangat-directed visuals that were made in collaboration with next-gen social media platform Vero. PAULi refers to his latest video as an “Afro futurist fairytale.”

Each individual has their own mental picture of what they assume the future will look like—many of these images influenced by years of media. Beginning with a short opening monologue by Idris Elba, PAULi forces viewers to pause what they’re doing for a few minutes and enter his idea of tomorrow—which puts more emphasis on breaking free of any ties holding us back and freely transforming into a better self than metallic outfits and highly advanced technology.

Watch the full video below, and learn more about PAULi’s process behind The Idea of Tomorrow.

Can you explain the vision you had for this video?

“THE IDEA OF TOMORROW” is an Afro futurist fairytale exploring themes of our current dystopian landscape whilst celebrating agape, a universal and unconditional love that serves regardless of circumstance.
 
the idea of that which does not exist. the idea of a future that we are yet to know. This is my journey from Kepler-452b to Bedford-Stuyvesant, NY directed by Rohan Blair-Mangat.
 
Idris Elba has the perfect voice for the opening narration. Can you explain how did you connected with him and the meaning behind his prelude?

I connected with Idris on a (Damon Albarn) Africa Express trip. We got chatting and realised we had a lot in common, growing up in the same ends of London. Idris has the voice of a god. When he speaks you don't just hear the words, you feel them. The opening monologue is an abstract piece I wrote called, "memo on a postcard." its a love letter I sent to my girlfriend from outer space. 
 
 
How did the creative process for your debut EP differ from anything you've done in the past?
 
 For any project I'd worked on in the past, I was very much facilitating and helping an artist to fulfil their vision. Working on this EP, was the first time i had to believe in something that didn't yet exist.
 
Creating this body of work as an independent artist, I also can appreciate every aspect of the process, from the artwork which was a collaboration with Cory Vanderploeg and Gabrielle Sirkin to the production of my live show ' #PAULiSM,' curated by Blue May. 
 
I have also learned that my creative process is not complete until the audience have received the art. The audience completes the journey. 
 
How does balancing work with so many other artists hurt or help the process to complete your own solo efforts?

It's been a real joy working with other artists. In the last 2 years, as a drummer/ musical director I've worked with Jamie xx, FKA twigs, Robyn and SAMPHA. 
 
This year I was also set to play with Gorillaz, however this is the first time I won't be touring with the band since joining in 2009. 
 
Working with these acts has kept me on my tippy toes and I only work with artists I admire; which is the only way for me to feel prudent, balanced and inspired for my own project. 
 
 
What can we expect to hear on 'The Idea of Tomorrow,' when do you plan to release the EP?
 
MEMO ON A POSTCARD
MY CUP RUNS OVER FOR YOU.
BELIEVE IN ME 
WAITING
i DONT CARE,
i DONT CARE (Outro)
 
THE IDEA OF TOMORROW, Out now on Spotify and Apple Music.