Ever get the feeling that someone’s not listening, no matter how loud the sirens and alarms are screeching? Such is the fate of the protagonist of “Burn,” the new graphic novel-styled music video for NY-based musician Stella. Stella Santana, daughter of Carlos Santana, whips up dreamy, swishing soul and R&B that feels thoroughly modern, even as her voice harks back to smoke-filled lounges of the 1940s and 1950s. The video for “Burn,” the first single off the album Selfish (in stores and online July 29th) pushes even further into the contemporary with its graphic novel style. Directed by Pauly C, it's based on illustrations by UK graffiti/street artist Conzo Throb.
“I really wanted to go literal with this visual,” explains Stella, “but I wasn't trying to set any houses on fire in real life.” So she turned to animation, where she and Pauly C discovered the work of Conzo Throb. “When I saw Conzo's initial drawings of me, I got really excited... it feels extremely rewarding to see the finished project now.
Conzo Throb says that even though this video is in a traditional comic style, illustrative graffiti and street art “will always be what I identify with. It's a style I've spent 10 years developing into something that's mine and can (hopefully) be recognized by people and artists without them having to see my name attached to it.” That being said, Conzo enjoys working in other mediums, “as it keeps you open minded and eventually leads you into possibly bringing it into your style eventually.”
The whole team was on board with the look of the video from the start. The first visual, a close-up illustration of Stella, “got the instant approval,” says Conzo. “We then moved onto the detailed treatment and thumbnail stage, both produced by Pauly C which was very descriptive so was easy to visualize what he wanted in the artwork while also leaving room to add my own take on it.” From there, it was a simply a matter of letting the song sink into his work. As Conzo explains, “Listening to 'Burn,' it felt dreamy and transitional, so using a washed palette of dark greys and greens with contrasting bright glowing oranges for the fire seemed a perfect fit.”
Check out the full video below: