ALL POINTS EAST PERFORMANCE ALONGSIDE NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS, THE SMILE & MORE ON AUGUST 28th
Michael Kiwanuka is pleased to share the gripping new video for Beautiful Life. The video is directed by Phillip Youmans, best known for his Tribeca award-winning debut feature BURNING CANE in 2019.
Speaking of the collaboration, Youmans detailed:
“This story is a cautionary tale about our nation’s easy access to, and fascination with, guns. We follow teenagers playing Russian roulette with a parent’s revolver. As each player holds the gun up to their temple, their lives flash before their eyes. When we die, our bodies release DMT; as the chemical fills our bloodstream, it’s said that a person experiences their life flashing before their eyes. So close to their possible death, I wanted to explore these characters through their memories. With each pull of the trigger, the chance of death rises and each player deals with varying levels of fear.
Overconfidence and recklessness underline the core themes of this film: life is beautiful and precious, and conformity and exhibitionism can be deadly. Though they’re fearful, they pull the trigger anyway, bowing to the pressure of the moment”
Shot on 16mm, Yeomans takes a raw and immersive approach to create bold, dynamic and claustrophobic scenes, while the kinetic camera during each flashback brings a nostalgic and alive feel. Youmans entwines his craft and the power of the track into a matter of life and death, celebrating the real strength in human spirit.
“Beautiful Life”, released earlier this year, featured on the Netflix documentary Convergence: Courage In A Crisis, directed by the Oscar-winning director Orlando von Einsiedel.
The song itself is classic Michael Kiwanuka; all otherworldly sounds, psychedelic hues, and that rich, mellifluous vocal.
Kiwanuka on “Beautiful Life”: “In this song I wanted to focus on the feeling that there’s a real strength in the human spirit when you try to look for beauty even in difficult situations. Of course, in some situations that becomes more and more difficult. But I just wanted to ponder on that and wonder what life would be like if I lived it like that.
“Ultimately whatever people feel from hearing the song is ok with me. But what I was trying to emit through the music was a feeling of defiance. A feeling of strength through adversity.”
Michael followed his UK headline tour this Spring (which stopped in London for consecutive nights at Brixton Academy and Alexandra Palace), with a headline performance at the Green Man Festival last weekend.
Kiwanuka concludes his current live run this weekend with a show at All Points East with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Smile, Sleaford Mods and more on Sunday August 28th.