Words by Blacka Di Danca—
A few months ago, I made a step out of the standard dancehall scene (clubs, workshops, dance videos) and made my debut in the mainstream entertainment industry as a music video choreographer. I had the opportunity to choreograph Major Lazer’s “Lose Yourself” music video with Mela Murder, which already has over 2 million hits on YouTube. Now, I’m at it again! I’m proud to share with you that I choreographed my second music video, this time all by myself. “Gyals From Brooklyn” is my first solo project as a choreographer and little by little I’m working hard to bring authentic dancehall dancing into mainstream entertainment!
“Gyals From Brooklyn” by We Chief ft. Da Professor (Get a limited time free download here) is an anthem for the ladies meant to keep the dance and party scene alive in Brooklyn, one of the epicenters of dancehall since the 1980’s. In the dancehall in Jamaica, the female influence is equally as strong as the male influence, and this is proven by such competitions as the annual International Dancehall Queen Competition recently held in Montego Bay, Jamaica. There are tons of talented female dancers and DHQs in New York City, and for purposes of this song and video, Brooklyn! We can “big up” the talent in clubs and video-light, but now let’s give them an anthem!
Working on this video was amazing. I met Chad Ghiron in Jamaica while he was producing the Major Lazer video I choreographed. We ran into each other in the hotel lobby, struck up a conversation, and since then we’ve worked on countless music videos together for artists like Shaggy, STRFKR, A$AP Rocky etc. He contacted me about a dancehall-based music video he had to produce and he called the right guy! He emailed me the track; I took a listen and immediately loved it! I called him back and said let’s work. We set up a meeting with Geoff Rand of We Chief, the song’s producer, and DJ G Brown. The ideas for the video flooded our table and I knew we had something special! I contacted four amazing female dancers, Ebbie, Zuzanna, Mayumi and Samantha; we set up rehearsals and started to create magic together! I recorded 15 seconds of the first rehearsal and posted it online and was surprised by the impressions that it quickly garnered. I set up a casting call for extras for the BBQ scene that we scouted for the shoot. The day of the shoot was amazing! From dancing in the middle of Grand Army Plaza, to a pink graffiti wall in Williamsburg, to riding a pink tricycle on the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, to setting teddy bears on fire, to… well, now I’m giving away too much and you’ll have to watch this video to see…
World! Here is the premier of “Gyals From Brooklyn.” And expect to see more projects coming from me: Bigger, better and full of vibes!