As UK dance artist, Di, holds her own in all dance charts this summer with her track 'Opium', she shares her behind-the-scenes secrets to her new Todd Terry remix video - the Mukbang craze hits dance music!
So far my approach to making music videos has been to do the unexpected and to take a bit of a contrarian stance. The aim with all the Opium instalments has been to make them as outrageous and far removed from what would qualify as the 'norm' in the world of music videos. And by 'norm' I mean all the hired (and usually half naked) models gyrating and then making out, etc with the lead singer…
I like the power of certain words and 'opium' holds power - whether it conjures up images of junkies in a dark alleyway, or the smoke and mirrors glamour of the YSL perfume ad, either way it's a loaded word. When you've got a track called 'Opium' visually you want go hard or go home and for me for me as depicted in the first video, Opium conjured up images of a plump lady living in a rainbow of colour and opulence doing the dirty in secret. I liked the whole contradiction/humour/hypocrisy/absurdity of the situation. Ursula, our somewhat mythical actress nailed the vibe we were going for.
So for the Todd Terry remix video I wanted it to be an extension of the madness. The track is quite long for a typical music video (5 minutes and 54 seconds to be exact) and I wanted to keep all the colours and vibrancy of the first video but for the focus to be less on the drug and more on the after effects. The after effect in this case was binge eating which, ironically is just as addictive and compulsive as the drug use itself. This is where I tied up my idea with the Mukbang craze that's taking the weird and wonderful YouTube by storm.
For all initiates, 'Mukbang' is a compound of the Korean words for 'eating' and 'broadcast'. A host sets up a camera and starts eating excessive quantities of food while interacting with their dedicated audience (so dedicated in fact, that sometimes they make donations or place lucrative bets). In other words, it's food porn. It's hard to fathom how it's become so popular but I guess Mukbang videos go hand in hand with that whole Gogglebox/ reality television show mentality. Who would've thought watching people watch television would turn out to be such a hit? As 'real' as these shows are, it feels like we're the ones living in abstract world.
On the day of the shoot, Arthur, my co-director and I were anticipating the same fun levels as the original Opium video. A feast comprising of McDonald's Big Mac, fries, chicken nuggets, lasagna, jelly, Haribo sweets, two Patisserie Valerie cakes, macaroons, a large Coke bottle (handed over by yours truly) and not to mention more than your five a day assortment of fruit was awaiting Ursula to dive into Mukbang style. Ursula was under a strict contract to eat it all (wink, wink)… We do things differently on our video sets, instead of starving our models we feed them! Eat it up!