Watch Shan Vincent de Paul’s Knockout ‘Savage’ Video
The Toronto hip-hop artist’s intense new song is interpreted by Paris-based dancer-choreographer Usha Jey
Dark and aptly visceral metaphors — both lyrical and visual — make Canadian Tamil-origin artist Shan Vincent de Paul‘s new release “Savage” a gripping experience. Part of his upcoming album Made In Jaffna (releasing in August), the latest song is also out via artist platform and label maajja, led by composing legend A.R. Rahman.
The song is a total turn away from the smooth bop that was “Amnesia,” signalling the continued versatility and intensity of the hip-hop artist when it comes to his music. His long-winding, topsy-turvy flow mashes and jumbles up words and actions in under two minutes, while the music video — directed by de Paul and filmmaker Arsenij Gusev — stars Paris-based dancer Usha Jey performing “hybrid Bharatnatyam.” Dramatically running through the sheen of a glorious past and the dystopic not too distant future, the video sees Jey as damaged, ruined and vengeful, mimicking a soldier and an artist with equally tempest-like flair.
While some followers of maajja (following their global success with “Enjoy Enjaami” by Tamil artists Arivu, Dhee and Santhosh Narayanan) probably expected a Tamil song from de Paul, the hip-hop artist said in a press statement that “Savage” was “a purely cathartic creation for me where the expression took precedence over ‘accessibility.’” He adds, “I wanted to write an ‘anti-hit’, something that didn’t pander to any kind of audience, sound or trend. It was a gateway to tap into a darker side without having to keep up the facade of a glossy, perfect world that we often see on social media. The title is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the term colonizers used to describe us for eating with our hands.”
The press release mentions that “Savage” is the first of 12 singles from the 14-track Made In Jaffna, which also includes previous hard hitting songs such as “One Hundred Thousand Flowers” and “Heaven,” a collaboration with fellow Sri Lankan Tamil-Canadian artist Navz-47.
Watch the video for “Savage” below. Stream on more platforms here.