Dido Goes Global
Mumbai filmmaker Siddharth Sikand directs video for Dido song
To promote her new album Safe Trip Home which released worldwide last month, Dido adopted what you may call a truly globalised approach: Dispatch each of the tracks to a different corner of the earth and commission 11 regional short films in lieu of the standard music video. These are local stories set in Rio, New Zealand’s South Island, Thailand, Portugal, Mumbai and more. On an interactive website dedicated to the films, the artist engages her listeners, asking them how each film made them feel by choosing an emotion from a colour palette. “I wanted every song to have its own video or film to represent the album as a whole,” says Dido on the website. “I love seeing how someone else might interpret a song that is so specific and personal to me. It’s an experiment I’ve been really enjoying, watching the songs be turned on their heads by these beautiful emotional visual stories that are coming out of it.”
Ad filmmaker Siddharth Sikand, grandson of legendary Bollywood actor Pran, thought up and directed the story of a Mumbai taxi driver for the track ‘Let’s Do The Things We Normally Do,’ now available for online viewing at safetriphome.com. “The brief was simply the word “home.” My first two thoughts were that I wanted to portray a day in the life of someone, and I knew it had to be a woman. I decided on a female taxi driver whose cab is her home.” Sikand cast newcomer actress Shahana Goswami (who debuted in Rock On!!) in the lead role. “Shahana can express passing emotions with her eyes. I needed that in the absence of dialogue. She couldn’t drive but she learnt in five days and was launched on the Mumbai roads! My challenge was to tell her character’s story, interwoven with those of her passengers in a space of four minutes. Since the tempo wave of this song is really nice all I had to do was to stick to the graph and keep the visual progression going accordingly.”
After five years directing promos at Channel [V], Sikand’s idea of heaven would be to make a video for U2. In the meantime though he gets a ”˜thank you’ letter from Dido via email saying she loved what she saw. That the song was very personal to her and written in sadder times but that his film gave her a beautiful, uplifting feeling now. “As a director, to be able to change an artist’s perception of her own song is the best compliment I could receive,” he says.