Amsterdam producer Jarreau Vandal understands the emotional impact possible through carefully constructed instrumental music.
“Suburb Superhero”—the standout title track from his recently released EP—comes on like sunrise, rising softly and gradually from silence, intensity rising with each passing second. It veers from the expected drops and pay offs of so much electronic music, made grand by orchestral percussion rather than trap drums. It sounds more like the score for a short film than the sort of disposable song that would rocket to the top of the Hypem charts.
“I grew up in the suburbs of Amsterdam which are not like the fancy suburbs in the states or whatever,” explains Vandal of the inspiration behind the song and EP. “They are simply working class neighbourhoods with a large diversity of people from wealthy to not so wealthy. The superhero part comes from me paving my own road from nothing to something, as a matter of fact I’m writing this while I’m in China this all came from making music in my bedroom so to some of my friends I’m a hero.”
Director Emmanuel Adjei grew up in the same suburbs as Vandal. Looking back on their shared past, the duo found ample fodder for a cinematic video to perfectly complement the song.
“When we started to look for visual references for this project, we felt like we needed to capture the feeling we both share when we think back of our old neighborhood,” says Adjei.
In keeping with Vandal’s sense of global connectivity through music, the video also explores a sort of shared bond between ostensibly disparate people and places.
“After visiting our childhood places together, we found out that most of these locations embodied something significant that in fact can be found in any suburbs of a big city,” continues Adjei. “There’s always a certain stillness in the architecture that is surrounded by both a natural and an industrial landscape. For ‘Suburb Superhero’ therefore, we decided to shoot in L.A. The suburbs of L.A. seem to resonate with the feeling we wanted to recreate, and at the same time the city radiates a nostalgic and mellow vibe that the track embodies likewise.”
“In this video, I’m the superhero who provides people their music in the club so they can forget about their daily struggle,” Vandal says. “This is what music does for me too and I’m happy i can provide people with my little part of happiness sharing it with them.”
Watch the video above and listen to another single from the Suburb Superhero EP, “Small Talk,” below.