British trio Strong Asian Mothers (Amer, Josh, and Kalim) have been friends since childhood, but they’ve called in a much bigger group of friends to help debut “Stay Down.” The 50-person Some Voices choir joins the group in the live performance video, which is a whirl of flashing lights, frantic energy, and colorful fabrics.
“We created a live show and chose certain instruments and roles in order to create an experience where every single member is seen as an irreplaceable front man in their own right,” Strong Asian Mothers explain. “We felt that this was something really important to convey. So with all this in mind and with the small budget we had, we decide to do a live session. But not any session, a live session Strong Asian Mothers style.”
Watch the video above, and see below for a breakdown of the band’s approach and thought process.
“Stay Down” is the third track to be shared from the band’s Lynx Africa EP, which is out this Friday. They are also playing a release show on Thursday 26 in London. Tickets here.
Strong Asian Mothers explain:
In a culture which sometimes makes people feel a pressure to be happy or positive all the time, to the point where if someone ever feels low they may feel like they’ve failed personally somehow, we wanted to write a song that accepted and saw value in the inevitable ups and downs of us human beings. Sometimes it’s pretty important to have moments in your life where you want to feel “lost” or “down” because they can lead to a clearer understanding of things and in some cases can make happier moments in your life feel more so. “Stay Down” is an explosive celebration of that.
On record we use a variety of synths, live samples, live instruments and electronic and acoustic drums. But one third of us happens to be the greatest drummer alive and so our live set up is distinctly different to our record. We have Josh on a full drum kit playing a variety of samples alongside his real kit for the extra explosive percussive element. We have also created a live show and chosen certain instruments and roles in order to create a show where every single member is seen as an irreplaceable “front man” in their own right. We felt that this was something really important to convey. So with all this in mind and with the small budget we had, we decide to do a live session. But not any session, a live session Strong Asian Mothers style.
Amer has a background as a director and cut his teeth doing live music sessions for fashion brands for over three years so we decided to creative direct our very own sessions. We drafted in the help of directing duo That Jam to take the helm. That Jam (or Sam Hurlock and Joe Beverly) are a directing duo that have created scores of music videos, commercials and fashion pieces, they also direct the Vevo Dscvr sessions and so were the perfect team.
One important thing we all decided was that a large scale live session with preempted lighting built to fit the music would create a totally unique and seamless result. This combined with some creative art direction would be a sure fire combination. Our live lighting was designed by Steve Hough and Gemma Pearce was our art director. Styling was overseen by Anna Peftieva and she helped us create some vibrant looks to compliment the Art Direction.
Believe it or not a some of us have some Asian background so vibrant fabric has always been a part of our culture, but we also have post-colonial Indian parents who grew up in East Africa and so we’ve always had a deep love for Kitenge and Buganda (african prints). We’ve used these in our press shots and wanted to extend this to our video, naturally when picking them out with Gemma we got carried away and so went for an amazing combination for the most beautiful and colourful African prints we liked! These were all sourced from our native homeland of Dalston, Hackney.
But for a session of this scale we felt we needed to do these parts proper justice and so we drafted in the awe-inspiring Some Voices choir who leant 50 human voices and with their director Laura Howe, we created a specific choral arrangement that lifts the session off to cosmic heights.
We shot the entire thing in an old Church which was donated to the cause by the awesome Ugly Duck, an organization who utilize underused properties in London for creative purposes.
Essentially the idea was to create a live session to show our love of strong visual styling as well as our dedication to the live element of our band. We think we achieved it.
We also love cats, so there are cats in it.