Some of you may not know PHFAT but his last video (for Caviar Dreams) was a Vimeo Staff Pick and the one before (for Lights Out) won Best Music Video at Liverpool International Film Festival.
PHFAT and Mac Motel have teamed up with Cape Town director Rob Smith to launch their latest track, the nostalgic love jam Keep You Safe. The mellow music and quirky styling of the video counter PHFAT’s usual dark presence and sound, but the video’s ambiguities will run amok in viewers’ minds.
“It’s kind of an ode to all my high school crushes, you know? Like an ode to making mixtapes, and buying two tickets to a dance, and playing out whole lifetimes in your head while you daydream in maths class,” says the rapper. “There’s also an elusiveness to that high school crush and a loss of naivety that happens as a person works through it and grows up. I wanted to capture all of that.”
“I’ve been working on really smooth hip hop joints on the sly since about 2012; really just for me to listen to,” says beat maker Mac Motel, also better known for his darker work with Sedge Warbler and Dank. “I showed some of it to Mike and it was obvious that he’d been repressing some of his own inclinations to make some more mellow stuff. It was new territory for both of us sonically but it just felt like a rad match.”
Director Rob Smith kick-started his career directing Stereo Kids for The Plastics in 2012. More recently he took a three-year hiatus from music videos to establish himself as one of South Africa’s top advertising directors, winning 25 awards around the world. When he heard that PHFAT was sitting on fresh content, he jumped at the opportunity to return to his roots and indulge his quirkier side – an opportunity only a phone call away thanks to being the rapper’s high school cohort.
Velocity Films produced Keep Me Safe, which was shot by Pierre De Villiers and edited by Rob with Paul Speirs at New Creation Collective.