Ghostpoet’s futuristic new video Freakshow imagines London as a toxic wasteland where pollution has destroyed everything but human life.
The video, directed by duo Zhang + Knight, explores the loneliness of a world void of vegetation, colour and even animals.
‘We chose to focus on Brutalist or semi-industrial buildings made of concrete or steel,’ say Zhang + Knight. ‘We didn’t want anything organic or colourful to be seen in the city in order to make it feel claustrophobic and dystopian.’
As well as shooting in pockets of London, the duo travelled to northern China to film, picking out an unnamed – and unrecognisable – city as their backdrop to avoid landmarks that could geographically ground the film.
‘The intention was that the cities depicted in the video should never be distinctly recognisable,’ the pair explain. ‘This was why we chose to shoot in a smaller, lesser-known city in China as opposed to somewhere like Beijing or Chengdu, and kept London quite ambiguous with the exception of the tube carriage. It was intended to be a near future or alternative version of our world today.’
They add: ‘London has no shortage of iconic Brutalist buildings so shooting there seemed a no brainer, and with the smog and construction [underway] in a lot of Chinese megacities that too seemed an obvious choice. There is something uniformly characterless about a lot of buildings in China which create these big concrete block skylines that we were very taken by.’
Freakshow is the second music video the pair have directed for the British musician, real name Obaro Ejimiwe. Their first collaboration, Immigrant Boogie, also followed a dystopian bent.