Victoria is in China in her new video for “China Love” featuring American dancehall artist and half of duo, Rock City, Theron.
Obviously a location shoot in China, means Victoria Kimani did not only intend to literally reflect the title of her new single, she also wanted to show some sort of exoticism. What she successfully pulls off however, is a 101 crash course on how to shoot a low budget video. “China Love” opens with a panned shot of China’s infamous great wall. But naught happens elsewhere in the video except shots of Victoria Kimani and her collaborator in the streets, gesticulating the camera and casually walking down what seems like an averagely busy day in mordern day China. Only it’s not China, it’s just a clips of Chinatown, New York, and surely it must have been easy for Victoria Kimani and Theron R.City to pass off their video shoot like tourists talking to the camera man they hired to follow them around all day.
Music videos hold testament of artists in full character and self-awareness and thus, for Victoria Kimani, creativity fails like this only glean a larger problem with music videos by mid-tier artists. While “China Love” video maintains the detail and crisp visual quality we have come to expect from Victoria Kimani, the video fails to be anymore than a poor attempt to sell a foreign culture to an African audience with no creativity whatsoever.
The age of luxury in Nigerian music videos began as a result of the influence of American hip-hop and its adjoining self-aggrandising culture. At the turn of the decade, Olu Maintain, also known as Mr Yahooze, debuted the video for his biggest track of all time “Yahooze”, with a line-up of Hummers and Benz plated with the days of the week. Over the next few years, this show of presumed wealth became a format for Nigerian videos (and subsequently African music), occasionally depicted in popped bottles, high-end parties with scantily dressed models, houses and cars. Though these videos were initially passed off for nothing but their show of affluence. But over time, creative tweaks have been added to make up for lack of big budget shots or cameras. And this is why Victoria Kimani’s “China Love” feels so tacky, it’s one thing to shoot a video on a low budget, it’s another to open the video with a cringe-worthy opening sequence (and boring graphic work to be fair).
See Victoria Kimani in “China Love” below.