"DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF ZIMBABWEAN MUSIC WITH VALEE: LISTEN TO SONDELA & MORE"
Welcome to this week's African Lifestyle Blog UK. It's me, your favourite new fashion stylist from the UK! Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to work as the lead stylist on the set of Valee Music's music video for her hit song, "Sondela", featuring Charlie Kay. If you're unfamiliar with Valee, she's a talented musical artist from Zimbabwe who has worked with big names like Cassper Nyovest and DJ Tira. "Sondela" has already amassed over half a million views on YouTube, and it was an honour to be a part of creating the visuals for such a popular song.
PREPARATION FOR THE SONDELA VIDEO SHOOT
Before the shoot, Valee and I collaborated on a mood board to determine the overall wardrobe direction for the music video. We wanted to ensure that each scene had a cohesive and appropriate look, so we discussed the different settings and moods the video was going for.
THE DAY OF THE SONDELA VIDEO SHOOT
On the day of the shoot, I went to South East London to get to the retro-inspired set. The location had incredible vintage props and iron metal windows, which enhanced the overall vibe of the video. But what made the day special was the energy and passion the entire team brought to the shoot. Everyone was young and talented, and being a part of such an inspiring group was terrific.
As the lead fashion stylist, I was responsible for styling Valee and dancer Isabelle Ouattara for the shoot. My assistant, Shereena John, was a tremendous help and supported me throughout the day. Singer Charlie Kay was also featured in the music video, and he was styled by Jo Conteh, a talented men's stylist based in the UK.
Makeup tends to take the longest on video shoots, so we started with that first. MUA Jade did an incredible job on all of the artists who would be featured on camera. Then, it was our turn to style the artists and bring their looks to life. We heard the song "Sondela" on repeat throughout the day, which helped us get into the zone and create the perfect looks for each scene.
ANKARA PRINT BACKDROP SCENE
There were four different scenes throughout the music video, and each one was unique and exciting. My favourite scene was the one with the Ankara print backdrop. I brought 77 yards of different types of Ankara print fabrics to create the collage-like backdrop. It was a risky move to style Valee in the Fuchsia Makemba dress against the bold backdrop, but it paid off and looked incredible on camera.
THE CAR SCENE
We featured a scene with a shiny red Ford Capri car from the 1970s, which was rented to give a throwback vibe. The car was a remarkable shape and had a well-maintained engine that purred smoothly. We styled Valee in a navy and yellow co-ord bralette set with shorts for this raunchy scene, along with a South African necklace and red Love Yaa Yaa belt to make a bold statement. To complement the look, we added red thigh-high boots and ensured all accessories fit the car. The scene genuinely captured the song's essence and Valee's brand.
Overall, it was an incredible experience to work on Valee's "Sondela" music video. Working with such a talented team and creating visuals that complemented the incredible song was a privilege. Being Valee Music's fashion stylist for the Sondela music video was a dream, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to create something special and unique.
To Stream Valee's music: Amazon/ Apple/ iTunes