Making your first music video is daunting for any artist. Doing it without the financial backing and direction of a record label is a brave task for any musician to undertake. Luckily for our ears and eyes Rudi Douglas jumped in at the deep end and has produced a truly stunning video and song combination. The Irishman is no stranger to the music scene having worked with Jade Williams – you may know her has Sunday Girl or her latest incarnation Whinnie Williams – as well as performing live gigs across the capital. ‘He Won’t Swim In My Ocean’ marks Douglas’ first foray into solo performance. We caught up with him to find out what it was like.
So So Gay: Hi Rudi. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us about the journey that brought you to making your first music video.
Rudi Douglas: It’s something that I have wanted to do for a long time and I think it got to a point where I realised I needed to just do it for myself. It felt right to put a video with the song as I wanted to present a whole package to represent who I am as a singer, writer and artist. A lot of people think you need to be signed to a label or have management to do a music video but if you have a clear vision of what you want to do and a real passion for it you can surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
You’ve been in music videos before, with Whinnie as an example. Was it different being the ‘star of the show’?
Yes. With Whinnie I’m more involved with the music side of things. I play in her live band and do a lot with choosing and arranging the covers we do. She’s very much in control with her videos, from the concepts to actually organising them. I think seeing this inspired me to just go for it and do my video!
It was hard work but very rewarding. I’m lucky to have amazing friends who have helped me. It doesn’t feel like much of the time doing the video was actually me being ‘star of the show’ as much as organising the show! It’s hard seeing yourself on camera at times and I think you need to detach yourself from it a bit, and think about the whole finished project
The song is obviously very personal. Was it difficult to write?
It was actually quite easy to write. I was so angry and hurt at the time. When I wrote it I worked in a fancy retail store that had a piano. I went in early one morning and literally sat down at the piano and it just came out. Writing has always been a great release for me. I think I would go crazy if I didn’t have it!
How much input did you have in how the video was styled and looked?
I had the whole concept in my head and pretty much saw it through from drawing up the story boards and writing the treatment to sitting in on the editing process. I was pretty much project manager, with friends (Ed Duffield) directing and shooting, and (Jade Spranklen) overseeing the art direction on the shoot. It was a big learning experience and as stressful as it was at times I loved doing it!
The video has had over 3000 views in a week. Were you surprised by its popularity?
Yes, completely! I feel a bit overwhelmed by the response so far! It’s so nice to have put so much work into something that you love and have people really appreciate it!
What’s next on the table for Mr Douglas?
Video number two! I’m so excited! The song has a similar theme but has a different feel to it. I’m the process of organising the video shoot. I can’t wait to get stuck in with it!