Written by William Oliver
Posted 03/04/2013

Here at District MTV we are huge fans of the amazingly talented NYC-based rapper, Mykki Blanco. After his tracks Wavvy and Kingpinning dropped last year, followed shortly by the incredible Haze.Boogie.Life, we couldn't get enough and neither, seemingly, could the world at large. Features and interviews with Mykki have appeared in any magazine and on any site worth its salt - note we got there if not first, pretty darn early. As part of the District MTV ethos is very much about supporting young emerging artists as part of the 'District MTV x …' initiative, we have collaborated with Mykki on her forthcoming video, Feeling Special, directed by Danny Sangra. Sharing some exclusive behind the scenes photographs shot on set, we decided to catch up with Danny to talk Mykki, Jean Luc Godard and the creative process between the two artists. Keep your eyes peeled for the video exclusive coming soon!

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District MTV: What was the idea behind the video?

Danny Sangra: To place Mykki in a film Noir setting, I really wanted to dress her up as a Lauren Bacall.

DMTV: Who was the creative team on the shoot?

DS: Most the team are people I tend to work with, or have worked with before. Morgan Clement and A+ were behind the production, Thom Walker was doing make up, who I have worked with on many projects, Sami Knight worked his usual magic with the hair and Emma Wyman did the styling.

DMTV: Where did you draw your inspiration?

DS: For this video I took the main inspiration from film Noir. In particular, a film called Kiss Me Deadly. It opens with a woman running down a dark road lit by headlights. As I was shooting in colour I based the colouring on two scenes, the strip club scene from Belly and the car scene in Pierrot Le Fou by Godard.

DMTV: This is the second film you have made with Mykki. What is she like to work with?

DS: I tend to leave her a lot of space to perform. Usually we start tame and end up doing takes where she pushes it as far as possible. I have to say she puts everything into it. I had her crawling on a freezing water-soaked concrete floor and she had no complaints.

DMTV: What was the creative process between the two of you?

DS: It's a pretty easy process for us now. When we did the first video we had only met each other a few hours earlier and quickly we were running around East London shooting on the fly, eating pizza and swinging baseball bats. After that I think it's easy to communicate and trust each other.

DMTV: Are you working on any personal projects at the moment?

DS: Loads. I'm constantly working on personal projects. I have a few short films and documentaries finished. I've been putting them out with The Valerie Mallory Gallery. One involves a relaxed attitude towards time travel and I have a documentary about a performance artist who performs at a gallery opening in Tokyo.

Tags: Mykki Blanco