Behind The Scenes Of Emicida's New Music Video "Zica, Vai Lá"

Brazilian rapper Emicida, aka the Jay-Z of Brazil, has just released a new music video for “Zica, Vai Lá” off 2011’s Doozicabraba e a Revolução Silenciosa produced by K-Salaam & Beatnick in partnership with The Studio.

We spoke to his longtime collaborator Fred Ouro Preto, who directed “Então Toma” and “Triunfo,” to get some behind-the-scenes insight on the making-of.

The Creators Project: What’s the story behind the video and where did the idea come from?
Fred Ouro Preto:
The song’s idea is a metaphor about a kid following his goals and being the best at what he does, and also the lyrics allude to sports. The first time Emicida and Fióti [his brother] talked to me about making a video for this song, they asked if we could try and write a script featuring [soccer player] Neymar, because he had shown interest in performing in something with Emicida. So I had those ingredients—sports, Neymar, excelling. This is my third music video for Emicida and the first two were very successful, so I always worried about doing something that was completely different from the others and from any other clips on the market.

I also didn’t want to use Neymar in the obvious way—playing soccer—so I thought about martial arts movies and mixing references that would be easily understood by the audience. So when you see it, you immediately think of Van Damme, Bruce Lee, and Mortal Kombat, among others.

Was it difficult to bring your ideas to reality?
We were going to do some fighting shots with cables to make [it look like] the punches were more hard-hitting. I tested it and didn’t like the results, so I chose a routine with more choreographed fighting moves instead of using a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon kind of effect.

What makes this video different from others you’ve made with Emicida?
The main difference was the structure. This time we had a top-of-the-line team and equipment. With “Triunfo,” we had a three-person team, about nine people for “Então Toma," and this time we had over 50 people involved with the video. We had time to see and review concepts, took our time editing it, and rehearsed a lot before shooting. I really like the other videos I’ve made, but I believe that “Zica, Vai Lá” will eventually become Emicida’s biggest video reference. This video was a lot more ambitious than the other ones and I’ve managed to put elements into practice that, up until now, I’ve only had access to when doing commercial work.

What do you think about rap videos in general? I think they’re usually very similar and filled with clichés, however, Ogi recently released a new video “Eu me perdi na Madrugada,” with a lot of visual tricks. How has new media art and technology influenced your work?
Yes, most videos are usually really similar, and now that everybody’s got access to a 5D, it seems like it’s become a school—same lenses, same framing, same attitude. If the director doesn’t add at least one new element, then to me he’s just a cameraman. I really like Ogi’s new video. It’s really different, original, and tasteful. I personally don’t work a lot with computer graphics. My background is in photography and directing scenes with actors.

For me, Tyler, The Creator is the main reference nowadays when it comes to really unusual works. What’s very common is that artists are self-conscious about their image. You rarely see artists like Emicida and Ogi who agree to make videos that show them in a humorous way. Usually all guys want to sell their image as rock stars and female singers want to sell the idea of being pretty and all, and that’s not always the most interesting thing to do. Sometimes that limit comes from the artists themselves. That’s why it’s cool working with Emicida. He’s up for shooting scenes that, at first glance, could seem like he’s being mocked, but he makes it for the script’s sake and because he really trusts his music.

Photos by Matheus Chiaratti