Premiere: Canadian Producer Khanvict’s Video ‘Closer’ Addresses Colorism
“This film was made as a creative outlet and expression of hope for a better and more equitable future,” says director Anjali Nayar
Steeped in Indian mythology, battling discrimination, slick visual effects and powerful metaphors, Pakistan-origin Canadian producer Khanvict aka Asad Khan’s new music video for “Closer” unravels as an important story in the world still rife with colorism and casteism.
Surrey-based Khanvict detaches a traditional Punjabi boli or couplet from its bhangra and folk tradition to place it over thumping beats, dreamy synth work and sprawling basslines to present as “Closer” as cinematic electronic music. The penultimate track off his upcoming EP Escape, the producer worked with filmmaker Anjali Nayar and actor/model, activist and engineer Seema Hari on the music video.
In it, we see Hari essay the role of a protagonist who goes to a ceremony where she’s given a pill, which represents a sense of internal programming and mindsets that are drained. She’s also seen in whiteface, which Nayar says she used to show the effect of colorism on women in Indian and South Asian households across the world. The second half of “Closer” sees the protagonist turn into goddess Kali, who stands for the destruction of one’s ego. “She discovers that racism, bigotry and greed — propped up by powerful forces — have led to inescapable divides. She rages at all of us who are complicit,” Nayar explains in a note.
The filmmaker counts working on this project as a “creative outlet and expression of hope for a better and more equitable future.” She adds, “Although this film digs deep into our South Asian heritage, there are many similarities between our caste/colorist system and the current issues in the Americas.” Khanvict, for his part, also chimes in about hoping for change and how it can begin within ourselves. “And the pre-existing frameworks that we’re taught to navigate our lives, but one that comes at the expense of emotions like anger, rage, fire, burning, a kind of dismantling,” he says.
Watch the video for “Closer” below. Stream the song on more platforms here.