When it comes to music videos, the UK aren’t exactly renowned for producing great ones. I mean our American cousins insist on lavish sets but we use green screens, they gave us Kanye West’s ‘moving painting’ video and we put channel U on the map – not exactly our finest hour. Enter Wize, a self-taught, 17-year-old Londonite, director of Clipstar’s newest video ‘Most Requested‘, and soon to be media conglomerate.
“Im so into music and media I want to be the next MTV – WizeTV. It would be music and showbiz, interviews and freestyles all based around music, and not just the UK either, you know? All kinds of music too, underground, overground, mainstream – minorstream?” quips the affable director, who’s aspirations seem a tall order, one which many older men have failed in before him, but there’s just something that makes me believe he may well be the one to achieve it.
Wize – a playground nickname derived from what he describes as a ‘disastrous’ and brief attempt at being an MC – developed an interest in filming just before he left school, and began shooting funny little episodes on his digital camera with his friends and uploading them onto his Youtube channel for his own amusement.
“I used to record a couple of shots and see how they would fit together, then Tribal Man saw my talent and thought he could make something out of me. He took me to a couple of video shoots where I saw how they used to do stuff behind the scenes. Then I ended up getting a mentor called Dare, he encourages me to make plans and helps me to picture long term goals.”
One of those goals, is to stand out from the other video makers floating around the UK and it is clear that being different is something Wize takes seriously, from the dreads he started growing aged 11 because he “thought they were cool” to his distinctive stamp on the videos he shoots. “I don’t really know any established video directors, the stuff I see on TV now, it’s like everything’s just the same. You don’t get anything different, which is probably why I cant give you the name of a director who is truly an inspiration. I want to change that. I want to ring a bell when people see my videos so they can be like ‘yeah! Wize did that’.”
Wize is, however, particularly influenced by the style of Blkdmnds, a Youtube director who has shot videos for Young Berg, Tyga, Ray J, Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa amongst others. His use of a relatively simple Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera – Wize uses the 500D version- gives his footage a distinctive authenticity that cuts a swathe through the highly-polished, vacuous and generic videos that dominate hip-hop in the US.
“If he’s got that camera and he’s doing [as well as] that, I can do it too. Then there’s a guy called mystery guitarman, also on Youtube, who does things like cloning and special effects in his videos, and I’m like I can put the two together and elevate it all. When I see videos, I say to myself, I think I can do better and then I just push myself into developing more creative ideas and skills. Looking at other work, I want to implement change”, says Wize.
In fact a Blkdmnds video for Tyga and Chris Brown – both artists who Wize wants to work with because they share a similar ‘flavour’ to him- called ‘G-shit’ is one of the main inspirations for the ‘Most Requested’ video, which came about after Wize heard some of Clipstar’s music.
“With Clipstar, my girlfriend showed me about their mixtape, Rookie Season, and the wordplay was ridiculous. I hollered at Temz (a founding member of Clipstar) on Twitter and asked if they had any tracks – if I had a choice I would’ve done all the tunes on that mixtape, but ‘Most Requested’ was the song i was given and the track I was feeling the most. I would definitely want to work with them again. I think Clipstar will go far.”
Wize, says he isn’t afraid to do favours for artists he feels will do well and showing maturity way beyond his tender years, he is concentrating on expanding his website, self-styled as ‘broadcasting fresh youth entertainment’. He says, “I don’t wanna do everything by myself, I wanna have a team, its not called Wize – one-man-up, it’s called Wize TV I want to start a movement. I want to be a household name.”
With several projects lined up for the next three months, which Wize is calling a ‘warm-up’, he is attempting to establish the name and get it circulating around the industry and generate a big buzz. He says, “I’m not going too hard I’m just going to do a couple of videos to show people im back, better videos, better bars, better people, just better things really. I want everything to go up a level. I want to damage conventions and turn it into something new. I’ve got a couple things up my sleeve but I don’t want to give too much away so watch this space”, and if his work continues to be like the stuff we’ve already seen I doubt we’ll be able to tear our eyes away.
Check him out at his website WizeTV.