Pascal Aka visited Ghana Music.com office to discuss his long-established career and the video which has yielded him loads of views on YouTube - 'Vera'. Video: VERA by D-Black feat. Joey B
He appeared confident yet soft spoken whiles answering questions about working on the 'Vera' music video, D-Black and his Black Avenue Musik team.
Many of you know the Pascal who is now lauded as one of the best successful video directors/editors to come out of Ghana.
Born Pascal Aka, he first made his impact in the Ghanaian music industry as a music video director with EL's smash hit video 'Obuu Mo'.
Celebrating the wealth of talent in Canada and Ghana, Pascal has so far worked with artists such EL, Ronny O, E-Nice, Okyeame Kwame, Trigmatic, Tic Tac, to name a few.
The "Vera" visual, which dropped one month ago was handled by Pascal. The whole video shoot took place at the East Legon and Legon campus and had cameo appearances Funny Face, Benny Blanco, Krynkman and Joey B. Read on to know what Pascal said about the video.
Ghana Music.com: Let’s talk about the 'Vera' video. How did you guys get connected?
Pascal: I first met him at E.L's "Obuu Mo" shoot back in September last year. About two weeks afterwards, my manager put me in touch with him. We met at the Black Avenue Musik office. At the time he planned on shooting two videos, one was for "Change Your Life" featuring E.L, and the other video was for Dee Moneey who was his artist at the time. Those projects never happened obviously. After almost a year of working on different projects, he called me back after he saw what we did for Okyeame Kwame's "Mr. Versatile". He first recommended me for Desire Luzinda's "Stay With Me" video, who is one of the number one singers in Uganda. I was offered the project on a Tuesday, met him the next day with a full concept, we shot on Saturday and the video was released the next week. It ended up being the number one video in Ugandan charts. He was impressed with how fast I worked with deadlines while remaining creative, and after a little bit of convincing he finally decided to chose me to direct "Vera" which is the biggest hit in his 3 year solo career.
Ghana Music.com: Who thought of the concept for this video?
Pascal: The song speaks for itself, it already tells a story. D-Black came up with the concept of the video and I added my elements to it and brought it to life through directing the performers, pacing, lighting to set the right mood. I will let D-Black tell you the origins of the story. As I recall, some of the few additions I put in the concept were the performance shot in the bathroom, the eye-popping effect, Vera lifting D-black by his shirt, D-Black's head on the plate etc.
Ghana Music.com: Do you think about a video's potential to go viral when you're planning a shoot?
Pascal: To a very large extent, a video's potential to go viral depends on the popularity of the artist and the song. Vera was already a huge hit and I knew that the video would help take it to the next level.
Ghana Music.com: What was the general feel on the set when shooting Vera? Happy, crazy, serious, fun?
Pascal: Well it was the usual handful of stress that comes in every shoot, at least from my part since I'm the director. Everyone is depending on you and waiting on your command and leadership, when something goes wrong or not according to plan, you constantly have to improvise with efficient solutions, following deadlines while trying to maintain creative, focused and motivated. Other than that, all the BAM team were having a blast while shooting the video, that was a lovely environment to work.
Ghana Music.com: What was some of the funny behind-the-scenes action?
Pascal: As much as I'm embarrassed to say it, at every shoot, you will always find a rare 30 seconds of the director dancing Azonto like a white man.
Ghana Music.com: Where was the video shot?
Pascal: The shoot was done in my family's house where I live and on the University of Ghana, Legon campus.
Ghana Music.com: Were there any memorable parts that didn't make the final cut?
Pascal: Yes, every single take, D-Black's reaction was never the same. In the bedroom scene where Vera was packing her bags, D-Black once kicked her suitcase, I didn't quite catch that on camera. There's also a scene where Krynkman/Nshonna/Amadaa (whatever he finally decides to call himself) is supposed to use a measuring tape to study Vera's backside but we didn't do it. We also thought about having water splash on D-Black when Benny Blanco drives his car off, but that didn't make sense since it wasn't raining.
Ghana Music.com: How many days did it take y’all to shoot the video?
Pascal: Two hectic days. The first shoot at my house was from 5pm till 2am. The next morning was 8am since Joey B had a flight to catch; so you can imagine the lack of sleep the whole crew had.
Ghana Music.com: Last words:
Pascal: I want to thank the fans who are enjoying these videos and showing support. My crew and myself (Breakthrough Media) work very hard, we love what we do and it's always refreshing when we are exhausted from a shoot, we head to my office and read the positive reviews of our videos online. We have some great upcoming projects on the way with E.L, D-Black, Joey B, Raquel, Dr. Cryme, C-Real and I'm in talks with other big name artistes.
Everyone should add me on FB and follow me on twitter, all my usernames are "Pascalaka". I'd also like to stress that Aka is my REAL last name not AKA or A.K.A. like a lot of people have been spelling it. Thank you and God bless you.
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