Out of Focus: Sertified, Digital Wild and Malik

Out of Focus

There are a lot of videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most notable into a recurring feature called Out of Focus

Sertified “1 Wish”

Desperate for some peace and quiet and sunshine, Sertified headed out west to shoot his new video “1 Wish.” Filmed during a leisurely stroll along some California beaches, “1 Wish” is nonetheless far from leisurely itself, the more appropriate phrase might be “in your face.” That’s because director Mighty Muds stages the entire thing up close and personal, so that when Sertified calls out all the trouble on the block and the sleep it’s depriving him of, the message is impossible to miss. Smart, rhythmic editing makes it enthralling and kinetic, a kind of antithesis to the more grounded and visceral “Back 2 the Block” video Sertified released last year. Sertified’s performance is also more confident than it has been in previous videos, proving that the rapper is really growing into his ever escalating position in the ATX scene and has a commanding physical presence to match his lyrical chops.

Digital Wild “Wait”

For their new video “Wait,” electro-pop trio Digital Wild explore the disappointments of youthful expectations and adult realities. Director Diego Lozano frames this commentary with sequences featuring stand-ins for the band as children peeking in on their adult counterparts as they go about everyday activities, most of which involve personal and career letdowns. The video works best when it has the children and the adults mirroring each other’s movements, particularly in some lighthearted dance sequences, but Lozano does an excellent job communicating this ambitious messaging in a breezy and fleet way. That said, there is a weird disconnect between the anthemic pop of the song and the moody, almost apocalyptic lighting and set design in the scenes with the children; when the video first started up, I actually thought it was going to be a Strange Days-like depiction of urban surveillance and overreaches of authority. But maybe that’s because I think everything is pre-apocalyptic these days.

Malik “Alone”

Malik’s new video “Alone” may not be very subtle, but the ever evolving local artist’s passion and dedication to his craft is admirable. The video, unsurprisingly, features a lonely Malik, gazing forlornly out at the Greenbelt and in wide open city and park spaces. It’s punctuated by imagery that replicates Malik’s geometric album art, dropping the singer-rapper-producer into colorful triangles over greenery or narrowing in on his expressive performance with shrinking rectangles. Kent Juliff and Maurice Vellas are smart to let Malik intimately perform for the camera without interference, but I’d love to see more ambitious and narrative videos for Malik’s future work. Malik’s chief skill is his ability to shift his styles and moods multiple times within a song without it seeming cumbersome or forced, and he would benefit from video work that can emphasize that element of his music.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover