Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

ROBOT's Meghan Daniels on Exploring Loss, Grief and Life in Diamond Thug's 'Purple Skies'

Production Services
Cape Town, South Africa
Director follows the relationship between two brothers in beautiful music video

A few years ago, I arrived in Johannesburg, and along the expanding concrete highways, I was met with swarms of delicate butterflies. There's a phenomenon in South Africa called the annual butterfly migration where thousands of brown-veined, white butterflies fly across the country from places like the Karoo towards Mozambique and northern KwaZulu-Natal. This phenomenon is a beautiful tragedy in that their flight is actually an emigration and not really a migration, as they only fly one way and then die at the end of their journey.

And then last year the world was hit so unexpectedly by the Covid-19 pandemic and the immense hardships, hurt, frustration and loss that came with it. I treated on the 'Purple Skies' music video during these intersections. I wrote it with loss in mind. I wrote it for my father, I wrote it for Charlton and Toufeeq (the talent in the music video), and I wrote it for everyone and anyone who has lost someone close to them.

Charlton, Toufeeq and I have been waiting for an opportunity to create something and when this music video came along, we thought, "This is it!". Charlton and Toufeeq are brothers, not biologically, but through a life-long friendship - and so their performance is as honest and raw as it gets. I was also drawn to the seemingly contradictory nature of having two muscular, male breakdancers move to the gentle and slow paced track.

‘Purple Skies’ follows the relationship between two brothers, and is an exploration of loss and grief, as well as an ode to life, love and youth. ‘Purple Skies’ asks the question, how do we deal with the death of someone close to us when it was this person who gave us life? 'Purple Skies' breathes a brief world into existence, filled with joy, love, anger, loss, and moments of shared celebratory joy. 

This music video was a passion project with a very small budget. It was therefore only possible through the crew who came together to make this through care and a mutual understanding of the project - a reminder of why we are all in the film industry and why we love doing what we do.

Post Production / VFX
Music / Sound