Ayup J. Littles. Who directed the video, and how did you come up with the concept?
It was me and Luke Radford. I’m friends with Luke as he did a video for me a year and a half ago which took quite some time to shoot, so over the course of that we actually became friends. It made sense for me to go back to him and shoot with him again. The concept came about before the song was made. It was a studio session with Super Beatz and we got into a conversation about where the song was taking us. We were talking about drugs and how some people take drugs to get away from society, so we flipped it on its head and thought about a drug you could take that allowed you to see the world as it truly is. Once we started pitching ideas for the song itself, the visuals started coming along with it. I knew how I wanted it to go but I couldn’t visualise it properly, so Luke put it all together really.
How long did it take to put together?
We only filmed for two days because Luke managed to get quite a few actors involved. Editing was the longest part of it, because of the white glazed eyes.
What do the creepy, white eyes signify then?
I don’t have the white glazed eyes until the very end of the video because I take the truth drug and I can see clearly. All the people that are stood dormant have the white glazed eyes and are in this different realm to what I escaped. People thought it was just something scary I tried to do in the video, but there was a reason behind it. There’s a scene with the two police officers beating up a guy, and the idea is they’ve figured out that this guy knows the truth. That’s the consequences of knowing the truth, hence why at the end I end up in the mental asylum. It’s about how anyone that says outlandish things in society almost gets deemed as crazy. It’s just another way to put that across.
What is the ‘truth’ then?
I’m still searching! I like to think that I’m quite aware that the world is not as it seems. I don’t know what the truth is, but I’m looking for it.
What’s the overall message you wanted to convey with the lyrics?
For the everyday person that’s trapped in this social media world, it’s me saying that none of it is real. A lot of touchy subjects and goings-on in the world are swept under the rug, and are covered up by the foolishness you see on Instagram or Twitter or YouTube. I question everything; I don’t just accept what I’m told. It’s just urging people to start thinking for themselves a bit more because I don’t think many people do. I like to think of myself as a bit of a freethinker.
Obviously, there’s a lot of dystopian imagery of people with phones etc in the video – were you trying to comment on that factor as well?
These are conversations I have on a daily basis. I go against the grain, and not just fall in line. At the same time, I’m not trying to preach to people but I’m just trying to say you can do a lot of thinking for yourself and it’s not all what you’re told it is.
Is the idea of free-thinking how the psychiatric hospital plays into it?
Pretty much. You can dissect it however you want, and there are so many angles you can look at it from but that is pretty much it. In the last scene, I get apprehended by the police and the next minute I’m locked away and I have glazed eyes myself.
What’s your favourite part of the video?
My favourite scene is where the police are beating up this guy and it pans back to a scene where they lift him up and you can see the horror on his face and the blood dripping down it, but it pans out to the crowd and they’re just stood there not batting an eyelid and just recording it. I think that’s quite a powerful scene.
There’s a lot of imagery of police brutality – it’s a big problem in America but also in the UK. Was that something you wanted to convey at all?
I was slightly brushing over it, because obviously I’m aware of it over there but we’re not over there. I try to go off as much as I know and I’ve experienced myself. I know it happens over here; I’ve seen it and I’ve been a victim of it myself, but they’re not pulling people over and shooting people like they are in the States. At the same time though, it does show that a lot of people with authority abuse their power and they’re not for the people, like they should be. It was just a little stab at it, but I wasn’t trying to make a huge point on it.