On each viewing, I appreciate the nuances Director Pink explored. It is not elevated, nor too colourful; yet, Pink interprets the pictures so well. From the costumes to the models who sometimes show off excessive skin, to the props on set, we have a superb interpretation of “Spell.”
By Emmanuel Daraloye
Nigerian singer, and songwriter, Chike, continues his 2023 spell with the release of the official music video for the remix of “Spell.” His second music video in 2023, “Spell” stands as one of the tracks that highlight his sophomore album The Brother’s Keeper. The remix features the impeccable songwriter and dazzling vocalist, Oxlade. The song restates Chike’s long tradition of remixing songs off his projects, a tradition which started with the Mayorkun-assisted effort on the ubiquitous tune, “If You No Love.” “If You No Love” was released eight months after the release of the career-changing, now-touted classic album, Boo of the Booless.
On the song art cover of “Spell,” the heads of both Chike and Oxlade are pictured being summoned, as it were, from the hands of a woman who holds a book with “TBK” (most likely an acronym of “The Brother’s Keeper”) inscribed on the front. Chike, through the art design, gives the listeners a wide peek into the song before they press the play button.
Chike, like Oxlade, is the ladies’ man. Their concerted effort on the remix of “Spell” took most fans unawares. Anyway, that’s the power of collaboration: the innate ability to blend in other genres, and win over fans from the effort of good collaborators. On the remix of “Spell,” Chike and Oxlade both strive to achieve these as they bounce on each other’s energies, singing about their ill-fated experiences with their supposed girlfriends who cast a spell on them.
Praise Onyeagwalam, who fronts the visual company, Pink Line Films, brings about half a decade of experience to bear on the music video for “Spell.” Onyeagwalam is renowned for working with Chike in almost all his music videos. She has also directed for the likes of DJ Neptune, Rexxie, Ric Hassani, and others.
In the two minutes, fifty-three-seconds-long song, Chike and Oxlade coon about the admirable effect the girl had on them. Many of us have been in that situation. Oxlade and Chike relieve that moment on this guitar-upended track. In the music video, Director Pink tells beautiful stories, with help from the stunning models, colourful aesthetics, pristine custom, and others.
The video opens with Chike standing beside a yellow Beetle Volkswagen, and adorned in a red shirt. This scene is quickly followed by one with a lady who tries to come out from a refurbished Beetle Volkswagen. We then have the announcement of the song. At the 12-second mark, Chike is shown alongside four other beautiful women. This signifies Chike’s appeal with women. He stands in the middle. The next scenes are short and poignant. Chike is seen with various women. He talks and flirts with some. In return, they ogle him.
By the time the song kicks on at the twenty-eight seconds mark, Chike strives to move on, just like the lyrics said: “Made a promise to myself/ I go face my front.”
The movement gets cut short, as a beautiful damsel ensconced in one of the cars signals to him with her middle finger. He follows. Two scenes of her dancing and making some body moves in the car are splashed in between the scene where she tries to seduce Chike with her antics. It superbly blends in with lyrics from Chike.
Decked in a button-up green suit with blazers to match, Oxlade comes up at exactly the one-minute mark. He’s surrounded by more than five beautiful women, some of whom touch his belly, and others who ogle him. He seems unmoved by what is happening as he continues to sing. He gives the viewers his side of the story, particularly how the girl mesmerises him. At the one-minute, nineteen-second mark, Oxlade is shown in the same vehicle as Chike was; this time around, Oxlade has two women with him, and they serenade him while he keeps on singing. The next scene features Chike and Oxlade gesturing to one another, which tend to highlight the antics of the ladies.
By the time Oxlade finishes his verse, the video shifts to a lounge that has some artworks and colourful prints in it. Chike sits with the scantily clad models who try to seduce him once again. In another scene, one of the models holds two apples, perhaps, a biblical reference to the story of Adams and Eve. In the next scene, Chike and Oxlade dance in the car park. Finally, we have a broader view of what the place looks like. It’s a car park with various refurbished old model cars. At the two minutes, four seconds mark, one of the models licks one of Chike’s ear lobes. This finds him in a trance as he savours the moment.
The last sixty seconds of the song feature cuts from different scenes in this music video: car, lounge, and more. The cuts are sharp and striking.
The music video ends with the models in the car walking away from Chike. As they leave, he sings, “I no wan do again.” Perhaps, we finally get to see the much-dreaded moving on finally happening.
I have watched this music video more than twenty times since it was released. On each viewing, I appreciate the nuances Director Pink explored. It is not elevated, nor too colourful; yet, Pink interprets the pictures so well. From the costumes to the models who sometimes show off excessive skin, to the props on set, we have a superb interpretation of “Spell.” Finally, we have a better understanding of what Chike meant.
This music video shows why Chike has stuck to Director Pink all these years. They effortlessly complement each other, and that partnership doesn’t look like it will end soon.
Video rating: 7/10
Emmanuel Daraloye is Africa’s Most Prolific Freelance Music Critic. He has over 500 album reviews in his archive.