Below are five of these storytellers, who have continued to shine like bright lights while improving on the works of the industry pioneers as they work with some of the best talents that the world has to offer presently.
1. Meji Alabi
Meji Alabi has been described as the creative force behind unforgettable music videos from Wizkid to Maleek Berry, Tiwa Savage, Runtown, Asa, Mr. Eazi, Seyi Shay, and many more. Born to Nigerian parents, Meji Alabi is largely influenced by diverse cultures having grown up in London, Texas, and Lagos. Armed with skill sets spanning across directing music videos, commercials, and movies, Meji says “There are plenty of different places to draw inspiration from but for music videos, it all stems from the music and we work away from there…”
Speaking further in an interview with The Guardian, Meji says, “The music is what really pushes. Music comes first so we listen to the track and when I hear that… maybe I’ve seen imagery somewhere or I remember something I really liked or something in the lyrics speaks to me…” On his ability to pull off convincing romance scenes as seen in Davido’s ‘Assurance’ with Chioma and Wizkid’s ‘Fever’ with Tiwa Savage, he says, “The aim was to tell the love stories as beautifully as possible and use the different energies for the different relationships. I think we nailed it!”
Oladapo Fagbenle aka Daps had a career as an athlete for many parts of his life until 2010 at the age of 24 when he decided to take up a career in video production. In 2013, he began shooting music videos and three years after he got his major break after shooting ‘Bad and Boujee’ for Migos. Daps, a British artist, has a rich catalogue of music videos in his kitty in the last three years. Known for directing music videos for recording artists such as Migos, Stormzy, Iggy Azalea, Willie xo, Davido, Wizkid, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, Daps turned Davido’s hit single, ‘Fall’ to fans delight with the rich and impressive visuals. “Something about the music has to inspire me. It depends on the song. Sometimes, I know within 10 seconds what the concept of the video would be, other times, I sit with it for like two or three days. Sometimes, the client gives you a brief and other time they give you none,” Daps tells OkayAfrica on what inspires his ideas for music videos. Daps’ brilliance in music video directing didn’t come as a surprise to close aides, who knew he essentially apprenticed under Director X, who apprenticed under Hype Williams – two renowned music video directors. Daps says that fluidity to be able to work with Migos, Stormzy, and Davido remains what makes him unique.
. Dawa Thompson
Dawa Thompson refers to himself as the Nigerian fixer for commercials, music videos, and brand films. On what he does, Thompson says, “I work to bridge the gap between concept and execution for film, stills and digital content production in Nigeria. My passion for storytelling is expressed through collaborations with world-class creatives on projects for global brands.” Thompson is popular among the new wave of music video directors for making the impossible possible. From Kizz Daniel’s ‘Madu’ to Cassanova’s ‘2 AM’ featuring Davido and Tory Lanez, Thompson has proved his worth collaborating with top directors that include Meji Alabi and Ademola Falomo among others.
4. Ademola Falomo
At just 13-years old, Ademola Falomo set out with an idea to change the music industry by creating music videos that bring up issues and fuel discussions. In an interview with Kobini, Falomo said, “I basically started out with the idea to change an industry that sends out a message that materialism and consumerism are the keys to happiness. I think music videos should be about bringing up issues people deal with and fueling discussions around them. The simplest things in life could unburden our lives and at the same time propel us to achieve more. It is entirely liberating to discover how little we actually need in this world of so many.” It’s been a long time coming for Falomo, who has created several music videos that include Odunsi The Engine’s ‘Desire,’ Santi’s ‘Gangster Fear’ and ‘Sparky,’ Ladipoe’s ‘Based on Kpa’ feat Crayon and Rema’s ‘Dumebi’.
5. TG Omori
TG Omori is the hottest music video director at the moment. Following his interpretation of Naira Marley’s controversial video, ‘Am I A Yahoo Boy,’ Omori has gone on to become one of the most sought after music video directed. Born Thank God Omori Jesam, the 24-year-old videographer was inspired to become a director by the works of legendary filmmaker Tunde Kelani. Omori, who in December 2018 was described as the future of music video directing in Nigeria by Trace Naija, had his start as a director at 15 while overseeing stage plays in his school and church. Omori graduated from Pencil Film Institute at 18 and has gone ahead to work with some of Nigeria’s biggest stars. Works by Omori include RudeBoy’s ‘Ifai’, Reminisce’s ‘Oja’, YCEE’s ‘My Side’, Dj Ecool’s ‘Kilode’, Naira Marley’s ‘Am I A Yahoo Boy’ and ‘Soapy’, Olamide’s ‘Oil and Gas’ and ID Cabasa’s ‘Totori’ featuring Wizkid and Olamide among many others.