A British producer and songwriter who lives in Medellín, Colombia, pilgriim has led a nomadic life that his songs seek to document. Particularly inspired by the rich culture and expansive landscapes of South America, pilgriim traveled around the continent before moving to Colombia to work in video journalism and documentary film production, recording his travels in photo and video. These photos and videos now inspire his visual aesthetic as a musician.
Last week, pilgrim dropped his debut single, which he now releases with a self-directed video filmed in the barrios of Medellín. The song, which features guest vocals from British-born Nigerian poet Joshua Idehen, takes an experimental approach to hip-hop. With echoes of the LA beat scene but with an emphasis on lyrics and traditional song structure, ‘Flux’ is leftfield but immediately accessible. Joshua Idehen’s unmistakeable cadence adds to the song’s global style, his poetic flow nodding to artists such as L.A. Salami, George The Poet and Saul Williams. The chorus by singer Ned Younger (Young Shields)keeps the track’s London roots intact, while the song’s video locates it in the Latin American context pilgriim now inhabits.
pilgriim’s video for ‘Flux’ takes a documentary aesthetic and injects it with a healthy dose of imagination, using natural actors from the Comuna 13 neighbourhood of Medellín to depict a skateboarder’s journey into a surreal world of filtered purple that is reminiscent of Richard Mosse’s infrared photography of the DRC. With street-level videography complemented by aerial footage from FPV drones, the video follows a young man as he grapples with his inner demons. The acrobatic aerial imagery charts a descent into darkness and disconnection, and an eventual return to light. The protagonist’s personal journey mirrors that of the neighbourhood around him: Comuna 13 used to be one of Medellín’s most notoriously dangerous neighbourhoods, but today is a vibrant tourist destination.
Watch the video BELOW:
pilgriim says “a lot of my music is loosely autobiographical, and Colombia is incredibly photogenic. So it made total sense to me to film this video close to where I live in Medellín. The music I make, and the photos and videos I take, are two sides of the same coin. It is all just my way of processing and recording life as it unfolds”.
While pilgriim’s story may sound like a stranger-in-strange-land trope, the truth is somewhat different. He has immersed himself in Medellín over a number of years, and aims to use his multidisciplinary art as a vehicle to assist the city’s continued progress, as well as change people’s perspectives on what life there is really like. Excited about the possibilities of Web 3.0, pilgriim plans to mint NFTs whose sale and resale will generate revenue for grassroots organizations in the places – like Comuna 13 – that have inspired the visuals for his releases.
Featured artist Joshua Idehen is best known as a collaborator with the likes of the Mobo winners Sons of Kemet and the Mercury Prize nominees The Comet is Coming. He has also founded the spiritual jazz crew Calabashed and worked with Daeadelus on the acclaimed mini album ‘Holy Water Over Sons’. Joshua’s solo journey is now firmly under way, after his most recent single, ‘I Got You Every Step Of The Way (For Leone Ross)’, was playlisted at Radio X.
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