W+K Tokyo


Afra is perhaps the most recognizable Japanese human beatboxer worldwide. His first release from W+K Tokyo Lab, Digital Breath was produced by the renowned avant-garde hip-hop track maker Scott Herren, a.k.a. Prefuse 73.

The collaboration between the two resulted in a departure from traditional beatbox and hip-hop, giving birth to a truly new form of hybrid music, fusing the organic with the digital.

The title track for Digital Breath, presented us with the challenge of how to faithfully represent Afra’s “real” beatbox sounds. With what could easily be taken as a digitally produced track, we decided that the vivid reality of shooting on film was the best solution in reinforcing the humanity behind Afra’s rich sounds, precise vocal instrumentation and signature rhythmic flow -- showing that this guy is really making these sounds with his mouth. From the primordial dark of night, Afra’s breath triggers an organic genesis that creates a lush, organic landscape, unveiling into sunrise, revealing a hidden Shangri-La.

This video proved to be our most experimental production to date. With a shoestring budget and limited resources, we relocated six creatives from Tokyo and LA to Bangkok. This location allowed us to capture Afra on film as well as the enchanting landscapes of Thailand, enabling us to fully realize our vision. Flying in with a custom built animation PC and laptop computers, our multinational crew of DIY creatives designed, edited and animated from a hotel-room-turned-post-production-studio, equipped with used monitors and hard drives from the local Thai tech market. It may have been our most down-to-earth production yet, but this mobile project certainly proved to be our most memorable one.


“Digital Breath”のMV制作では、デジタル・サウンドの中でも、AFRAは実際にカラダを使ってサウンドをつくりだしていることの表現にトライ。ヴィヴィッドな写実性を持つフィルムを使うことで、AFRAのビートボックスの裏に潜む人間性を引き出し、デジタルな表現の中に人間のあたたかみを加えた。ストーリーは原初の闇からはじまる。AFRAのビートボックスは波紋のように広がり、オーガニックな創世記の幕を開き、喜びにあふれる森をつくりだす。そして、サンライズのヴェールをめくり、フローラとファウナの秘密のシャングリラをあらわにするのだ。


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