Two music videos were released in the past few weeks for “3 Nights” by Dominic Fike. One is mediocre: It’s VEVO certified, formalist in nature and glitzy with a pretty woman and long sexual stares. It’s commercially appealing bullshit.
The other is wildly creative, insanely genuine and uninhibited, allowing for close proximity to the mental space of Dominic Fike. It perfectly embodies the “kick back and fuck around on the streets” sort of vibe that “3 Nights” elicits.
Imagine “Man With A Movie Camera” in its cinéma vérité glory, except replace director Dziga Vertov with Kevin Abstract, one of the founding members of Brockhampton. The video begins in natural conversation with Fike, closing in on his body language and vocal inflections that indicate sarcasm towards his own hit indie-alt single, hinting at the façade it creates, masking his rap and hip-hop dimension.
Director (Kevin Abstract): “So what did you do right here?”
Dominic Fike: “Backflip. I did a backflip.”
Director: “When was the last time you did that?”
Dominic Fike: “In Jail.” (A slow, soft smile develops)
The video is cocooned in mockery and soft smiles. Fike continues by sarcastically noting he feels he has to make a music video for the song, because “it’s important.” Fike then runs through the streets, as Abstract shouts vocal cues and the camera shakes in its unedited long take, Fike doing back flips and intermittently singing the lyrics. He brings out some bongos. It’s perfect.
The unrestrained nature of the video, titled “This is Dominic Fike,” is the introduction Fike deserves. It shows the viewer inside Fike’s character and talent without reservations. The island vibes behind “3 Nights” disguises Fike’s artistic insights. He created the song on house arrest. His stomach lining is messed up from too much cocaine. His dad’s a pimp, his mom’s in jail and in his home town of Naples, he’s known for his rap career, not his indie single “3 Nights.”
At the end of the video, blue light envelopes Fike’s profile, bouncing off his hair and diffusing subtly — that’s the exact ambiance of “3 Nights.” Something as raw and critical as Fike’s talent absolutely needs the realist cinema to match it.