Here is a music video from two true originals: Kevin Abstract, a 19-year-old hip-hop artist and songwriter, under the direction of the 20-year-old Tyler Mitchell, an up-and-coming photographer based in New York City, collaborated together to create the music video for Abstract’s recent single, “ECHO.” Sadness and confusion in the face of a personal loss is the initial outline that the moody lyrics and instrumentation of “ECHO” provides. The artistic eyes of Mitchell and Abstract heighten this emotion with the juxtaposition of something strange against simple action: a motorcycle helmet-clad Kevin riding a merry-go-round, or a lazy, yellow-haired and coolly-dressed Tyler haphazardly driving a bicycle down a park’s sidewalk. There are the wandering eyes of Abstract, peering through the darkened lens of his motorcycle helmet, as he travels through some undefined tunnel.
Something broke, but he’s still moving forward. The sand of something slipped through his fingers, and now he’s left on the other side, pondering it all to excess. Unsure of where to go, or of how far away he can really go, Mitchell helps Abstract capture some strange sort of sadness in “ECHO.”
The strange and original visuals build upon one another as the song travels towards its climax. And there, at the apex, Abstract crawls and cries in some reddened pile of sand. You don’t understand it, the situation or how he got there, but you feel the emotion. You somehow, in some foreign way, understand his pain.
Abstract and Mitchell are modern reminders that age doesn’t determine talent. These young innovators are meddling with the platforms of their visual and musical appearance. Abstract is testing the borders of the hip-hop in his upcoming release with his boy-band troupe, Brockhampton. He croons like Kanye, and mixes beats into something a little more chilled. His newest release, while shrouded in mystery, is set to release in early 2016. Mitchell is a photographer and videographer who hates Instagram. Armored by talent, Mitchell has set out to avoid the motivations that modern artists of his field find in the Tumblr re-blogs and Instagram likes. He’s sick of it — he is suffocated by it — and is hoping to descend it all. These boys aren’t demanding attention: they are letting the public eye naturally glide over to their exciting originality and individuality.