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Exclusive Premiere: Sami Chohfi Makes Peace with Loss on ‘This Majesty’

India’s temples, forts and rivers feature in the Seattle-based singer-songwriter’s second music video shot in the country

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Anurag Tagat Aug 06, 2020

Seattle-based, Brazil-origin singer-songwriter Sami Chohfi. Photo: Michael Baltierra

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Brazil-origin singer-songwriter Sami Chohfi was in India sometime in the last two years as part of a larger itinerary that took him across the world, and his latest song “This Majesty” pays tribute to a fellow avid world traveler – his late brother Joshua.

The stirring acoustic rock ballad came to Chohfi while he was in Kenya, looking at the famous Mount Kilimanjaro. He says, “To wake to the most beautiful sunrise, be surrounded by such loving people, and experience the majesty that is not only Kilimanjaro but the wildlife of Amboseli Park, the song essentially wrote itself.” Singing about guilt, loss, love and misery, Chohfi hints that it was perhaps his way of finding catharsis by writing “This Majesty,” which is part of his upcoming album Extraordinary World (out September 1st). “I truly believe that once you love someone they are always with you, in all your wins and losses, in all your joy and pain. I hope that my big brother would be proud of what I have accomplished over the last year, and I think of him every time I perform this powerful song,” he says.

While the song was conceived in Kenya, Chohfi was in India with Sao Paulo filmmaker Alexandre Suplicy when it came to shooting a music video for the song, much like his previous single “Dirty Your Soul.” While that song had an upbeat mood, “This Majesty” was in a somber space, which led to slightly different choice of locations. In the video, Chohfi is seen in a boat along the Yamuna river, at the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur and parts of New Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra.

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Fully aware of the heavy regulations and general perceptions of an international visitor shooting any kind of video footage in public in India, Chohfi says he came back home with a lot of stories. Using pocket-sized handheld cameras and drones where permitted, the artist says every shot was usually just one take. He adds, “I’ll be honest in telling you that money goes a long way, especially in India, however you can’t just pay one person, you have to pay the neighbors too. We even lost one of our drones in the Yamuna River on day one, which is why you always bring two. Every shot you see in these videos was a labor of complete love.”

The release of Extraordinary World next month will also coincide with the launch of a music video for the title track. Chohfi describes it as “the culmination of footage and people I met from my journeys all over the globe.” There are three more music videos to follow, with “All Over Again” set in Paris, “Serenade the Darkness” set in Sao Paulo and finally, an animated video for a track called “Dreams of Yesterday.”

Watch the video for “This Majesty” below.

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