Brooklyn’s ‘best kept secret’ the producer Alan Wilkis has released the second collaboration in his series PRINTS, a spooky emotional ride called ‘Shadow’ featuring Berkeley, CA rapper Lyrics Born and Portland, OR singer Casey Dienel, AKA White Hinterland.
PRINTS is a series of singles by Brooklyn-based recording artist and producer, ALAN WILKIS. For each song or “print,” he first writes an instrumental piece and then collaborates with a different vocalist, sometimes together in the studio and sometimes via the web, until the “print” takes its shape. By drawing both himself and his collaborators out of their respective comfort zones, WILKIS hopes to push each “print” to new and unexpected heights.
WILKIS chose to name the project, PRINTS, largely because a “print” implies a certain beautiful simplicity, as well as an ability to stand alone as a piece of art. “Printing” can also refer to the act of rendering a recording session into a single audio file. Also, “prints” and “Prince” sound alike… and ALAN really likes Prince.
The director Ryan O’Hara Theisen, a founder at Lucky Branded Entertainment, emailed over some thoughts on his inspiration for the creepy guy, nude photography and using the gritty DUMBO industrial landscape as a canvas.
When Alan asked me to create a music video for his new Prints project – I was ecstatic. I sincerely admire him as both an artist and a human being.
Powerful tracks can breathe life into sleepy emotions and memories from the past. Shadow found it’s way back to my darkroom days of college, where I worked as a photographer’s assistant. I printed hundreds of portrait images every week and, indirectly, started to create strange voyeuristic relationships with the images of people I was bringing to life.
The actual storyline was loosely inspired from a break-up I struggled with during those darkroom days. After breaking up with my first serious girlfriend, she quickly shared stories about the new guy she was seeing. That news ate me up inside and only made me want to know more about her new life. Although I never went as far as Shadow’s main character, I could understand how those boundary lines blur when emotions take over.
The visual aesthetic grew out of the John Hedgecoe photo books I studied as a high school student. The photos from those books, especially the nudes, always had a late 70’s magic to them. With Shadow, we brought a Hedgecoe nude shoot to life; lots of available light, natural textures, an earthy color palette and an innocent looking model. Outside of the studio we continued our 1979 world with great vintage get ups and by using the gritty exterior of the DUMBO, Brooklyn waterfront as our background.
Here are some stills from the video.