Star players sometimes wait in the dugout, hitting the plate just when they’re needed at bat. For newcomer, Shirazee, the Benin hopeful has been waiting and building for a couple years now, and he’s ready for the challenge of stretching into the status quo.
The multi-talented West African has worked with everyone from Twista and Ty Dolla $ign to Sting. But his debut solo project, TK, holds close to home, tying in all the elements of his rich history.
Born in Benin and educated in Ghana, the artist traveled around the world before landing in New York, where he went from homeless to a signed international artist. Given the platform to create, he fuses his love of hip-hop with traditional hip-life instrumentation to create a recognizable, yet distinct sound of his own.
We spoke with the inspirational artist about how he came up with the concept for the video, how it was to film all-around the world, his family’s “appearance” in the clip and what he has to offer the American public.
On the concept of the “Different” music video:
“My friend Rami and I came up with the idea in Paris, France. We were walking for what seemed to be an eternity to get to the Eiffel Tower and during our convo it came up, and I really just went along with it to kill time… but by the time we actually got to the tower, a very real idea was born. Next step was getting it done.”
On filming “Different” in different places around the world:
“This video was shot a year from its conceptualization. Took a month to shoot and a few weeks to edit.”
On if his actual family was used in “Different” music video:
“I chose to protect my real family by using actors, so they are not bothered by what comes with having your face on heavy rotation worldwide.”
On what Shirazee has to offer to American culture:
“Just a different outlook on Africa and what we have to offer as a continent and a people. There is so much about our way of life that has yet to permeate American culture in a permanent way and not just as a trend or a fad. I look forward to seeing Africa in the mainstream, forever.”
Apropos to his musical style, his first single as an Island Records’ signee is “Different,” a song that asks more of his artistic path while taking viewers on a short trip to 13 countries, which you can check out underneath:
Porto Novo, BeninParis, FrancePisa, ItalyAccra, GhanaCairo, EgyptAthens, GreeceCape Town, South AfricaDubai, UAEAmsterdam, NetherlandsBerlin, GermanyStockholm, SwedenLondon, UKNew York City, USAPorto Novo, Benin
We’re excited for you to view Shirazee’s debut single “Different”— watch and enjoy, below!