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Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Alton Mason Shares the Lagos-Shot, Coming-of-Age Short Film 'Rise In Light'

The model's new project was released as a social impact campaign to help COVID-19 relief in Nigeria in collaboration with Melanin Unscripted.

Model and artist Alton Mason shares his new coming-of-age short film "Rise In Light," in collaboration with Melanin Unscripted.

The stunning visuals were shot in Lagos as an introduction to the model's musical debut "Gimmie Gimmie," and has doubled as a social impact campaign in the face of the current pandemic. Mason and Melanin Unscripted founder Amarachi Nwosu set out with a goal of raising $10,000 for the Nigerian-based Khan Foundation to help provide relief packages for families on the ground, and were able to reach their goal in just 24-hours.

"Rise in Light is a movement created by the youth to inspire and ignite the future leaders of our world," says Mason of the campaign. "It's a call for change, evidence of freedom and the expression of love and joy."

The model visited Lagos for the first time last year when filming. "The moment I landed and drove into the city of Lagos, all of those American perceptions, based on fear, were proven false," Mason tells Vogue of his time in Nigeria. I was immediately captivated by nature, the land, the buildings, the water, and the spirit of the country, which made me free to create the song and video in this sacred place. I felt home."


Rise In Light • Starring Alton Mason youtu.be

The visual was directed by Nwosu and shot by artist and cinematographer soof Light, and incorporates various people and settings throughout Nigeria's largest city, including standout shots with a group of energetic youth at Tarkwa Bay. Nwosu says she wanted to use Lagos as more than just a backdrop for the video, but also open up an opportunity to create more community awareness.

"The main goal of the film was to show the concept of love, light and understanding," adds Nwosu. "It's a really dark and uncertain time in the world and we wanted to use our creativity to not only show a film representing reconnection to people, land, water and nature, but also make a difference in the lives of the communities we present. While many artists often come to Africa and use the aesthetics of the space, we wanted to be more considerate and use this film as a catalyst to actually help people on ground and make an impact."

Watch "Rise and Light" above and see more images from the shoot underneath.

Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Bumi Thomas Was Given 14 Days to Leave the UK

We speak with the British-based singer-songwriter about her fight against a "hostile environment policy" and the release of her latest EP, Broken Silence.

There's a lot of vulnerability and soul packed into Bumi Thomas' latest EP. Given the surrounding context of a legal battle, Broken Silence was released, in Bumi's words, "at a time when microcosms of institutionalised racism have garnered so much momentum highlighting the domino effect of systems of oppression that have led to this powerful, global resurgence of the Black lives matter movement."

The inspiration behind this EP came at a time when Bumi faced a legal battle to stay in the UK, after receiving a letter from the UK Home Office to leave the country within 14 days. Understandably causing huge stress, this case turned from an isolated incident to national news, with 25,000 people signing her petition and raising money via crowdfunding for legal fees.

We spoke with the British-based singer about all of this below.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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