Tell us about Nuka and the Don’t be Afraid.
Nuka is a platform under which I will explore different mediums as a visual artist, editor, music programmer and creative producer. I have done a lot of work in the time I have spent in the industry, but this is a space where I have complete creative freedom and control. This is super exciting for any artiste. For Don’t Be Afraid, the first of three singles and videos that will be released this year, I worked with my long-time collaborator Navzar Eranee, who co-conceptualised and directed this video. It takes you through the journey of death, and the fear attached to the unknown. It is a visually stunning depiction of the way energy travels in our universe, never dying and always evolving.
What is the philosophy of Nuka, and your role as a producer and visual artist?
The idea is to be authentic — to speak from the heart, do, say and present things in a certain way and only when they come from within. This is the driving force of Nuka. The questions that we ask ourselves before we do anything are ‘What are we trying to say? Why are we saying it?’ If I can answer these questions satisfactorily, then the project makes sense.
The video creates a connect with issues concerning our environment and, of course, human emotions, among others.
Tell us about the issues that are close to your heart and how you hope to create content and music that strikes a chord with what surrounds and affects us.
It is very clear when we look at what is happening in the world today, that we are losing our connection with nature. We disrespect our planet, each other as humans, and other beings that live on this earth. Nature has the answer to all our problems. It recharges us and nurtures us. We must reconnect with it. Animal welfare is a cause close to my heart, and so as the first project I did via Nuka was a photo story called Mute, where we created a creature that is half human-half animal.
Mute was designed out of the desire to connect more with nature and other beings. It seems that we only feel a sense of loss when the subject is close to home. So, the creature we created is not real, but is very familiar. In a world where species are dying because of our carelessness and apathy, our attempt is to show you something which may help you pay attention to the beings we share our home with. The last image in that series evokes an emotional reaction and, from there, we direct you to the organisation that does excellent work with animal conservation. I want to do more work like this, which is high on aesthetics and evokes an emotional response.
How important is it for art and artistes to talk about real and present issues?
There are two sides to this. An artiste friend and I were having this discussion. She said that there is so much pain and destruction around us that she wants to create art that can help us escape all of this. I look at things a bit differently. I feel that we are going through our lives wearing blinders. There is so much apathy. I want to make art that brings attention to the things happening around us. Both of these ways of creation make sense to me.