Passion is an animated music video produced for the Canadian band SAM, which is a collaboration between James Sadoway and Jerome Mandrake. The animation was done by Ninja Jamal. When Jerome contacted me about posting the music video I asked him a few quick questions to post along with the music video - I've included them below.
GL: I noticed your label, Dansant, is Swedish – how did you decide to have them represent you?
JM: Dansant is a label that markets to listeners of synth-pop. I call our music synth-pop in that it backs pumping electronic beats and colourful synth lines with pop melodies and thick vocal arrangements.
GL: How has being a Canadian influenced the way your music has evolved?
JM: Growing up in Vancouver, listening to the CBC has been a major influence on my way of thinking about music. It's a great way of falling in love with a new tune on the radio and then seeing it live and listening to how they made it work as a live piece. That can change a lot with electronic music, I learned a lot from bands like Mother Mother about that.
GL: Why choose to go with an animated versus a live action music video?
JM: My draw to electronic music is the colors and movement that it presents to the listener. We're familiar with the voices and limitations of traditional instruments, but synthetic instrumentation takes us into a world of unknown sounds. I wanted to present that visually. I wanted to take the listener not only to how my brain hears the music, but to the fantastical world where it lives. Animation has helped me to do that.
GL: Where was the video animated and who was involved with it's production?
JM: All of the animation was done by a single animator named Ninja Jamal. Jamal answered an online add I had posted for illustrations of the band, and our friendship developed from our first meeting. We are both excited about the same styles of animation and the idea of a fully animated music video was quick to come up.
GL: How much would you say you were involved with the production of this video?
JM: The concept of the video was an idea of mine from the time I was working on the track. The synths kept making me feel like I was on a quest when I was recording it. I imidiately thought of traditional "rescuing the princess from the dragon" storylines. I liked the idea of the evil magician/producer creating musical monsters to spar with the vocals. The idea of the two characters had a romantic cat and mouse feel to it.
GL: I get the feeling the Gorillaz' animated music videos may have been a source of inspiration for this video, was that a conscience decision?
JM: Gorillaz were a huge source of inspiration for this project. Ninja Jamal and I are both fans. We definitely focused much of our energy in the early stages on fairy tales, though. What makes a good one? How simple is too simple? ect.
GL: Were there any existing animated music videos that you used as inspiration for your music video?
JM: As I teenager, I remember watching the Canadian band, Prozzak's videos and thinking "I'm going to do that one day". I loved how simple the animation was, but the characters were so likeable. Really stood out in my mind all these years.
GL: Where can people find out more information about your band?
Here's some links!!