Anyone who is following the UK music scene should have heard of AJ Tracey by now.
With tracks like 'Thiago Silva' and 'Leave Me Alone' he has earned co-signs from some big name international artists like Denzel Curry and Drake. However, one man you may not have heard of is J Mornix. When Tracey dropped the video for ‘Buster Cannon’ social media went insane because of the nostalgic Dragon Ball Z effects and futuristic location in Japan – Mornix was the man responsible for that. A few weeks later, a flight out to Tenerife, an expensive hotel by the coast and a few teasers on Snapchat and the world had the video for ‘Pasta’ which racked up over 750k views in about a week!
A laid back, low key video producer, J Mornix let’s his work do all the talking. His profile speaks for itself, producing visuals for UK royalty like Ghetts, Stormzy, Fekky Donaeo and Chipmunk as well as international stars like Jeremih, His style is simple yet futuristic. Keakie had to get a hold of him and find out more about the man behind the camera.
Looking at your website, we can see you've worked with big artists like Jeremih and Stormzy, can you tell me about those relationships and how you came across these opportunities?
Angel and his team had already shot the video but were unhappy with the edit and thought it needed a more trappy style so Caso (Angel's Creative director) had seen some of my earlier work and reached out to me make a re -edit.
For Buster Cannon, what were the main themes and ideas behind the video?
We didn’t have like a set idea when we went out there in terms of style and concept for the video, the effects and DBZ references came once I started editing the footage on the flight home. AJ was already touring Asia when I linked up with him and General Courts (DJ) in Tokyo. We just had a drink agreed on the level the video has to be at and just went with the flow and started shooting organically.
Sounds quite casual then! What was the budget like since you had to fly all the way out there?
It wasn’t a mad budget for the video more so just covering the cost of flying all the way out there and my fee, it was more like I had my camera, and we had couple sites we could visit like the off white store etc and just went out and shot it.
What was it like filming in a foreign country?
Well with that, I found it easier shooting there, because everything is kind of new, and you’re actually looking at everything with fresh eyes, and everything seems more interesting. And to be honest, the people- it was weird, because going on the train with all my equipment, no one was really looking at me funny, or it as if they were used to it. Whereas in London it would be like a big thing, and would possibly draw a crowd. But when we shot in the square, then people started gathering around and paying interest. Somebody actually got in the shot. You’ll see a bit where there’s some red lighting and LCD screens behind AJ, and somebody comes in just trying to see who he is, and they put their phone like right up to the camera!
Wow, I’m always wondering when I watch these videos, “do they clear the area?” “Do they have a set?” How do you license that area? Or did you just go about it among the people?
Well I got there, met at a restaurant, got my camera at the hotel, and literally went out at the peak of dawn and got to it.
Fair, getting straight to work, that’s good. For Buster Cannon what aspects were you particularly proud of?
Mostly, I’d say the effects and the way the whole visual flows together because its looks nothing like how I envisioned it.
Watching the movement to the creation of ‘Pasta’, what was that like and how did it differ?
First off, that one we had more of a set idea for the video AJ had already sent me the ‘Lil Tracey’ EP early and said with this one he wanted to get a villa and fly out the mandem and some girls. I’d say this video was more laid back then Buster Cannon only because we treated it more like a holiday which Is how I wanted it to come across in the visual .
Was the budget more or less than ‘Buster Cannon?’
That one was more, definitely. Just flying everyone out there and the location alone. It was like 200 euros from the airport to the villa.
We saw Dave in the video as well, it’s the whole London movement. We love that.
Yeah we’re really sticking together. Dave keeps reappearing in AJs videos to show we are all sticking together and away from this music ting they're actually friends, nothing fake.
So what was the biggest challenge for the ‘Pasta’ video?
To be honest, the whole thing is a challenge in itself, really. Pre-production, production and post-production of a music video all hold their own unique challenges.
Out of curiosity, how long does it take you to prepare and plan out each stage you’re doing?
It depends on the artist. Sometimes they will give me a loose idea of what they want, and then I’ll put together my ideas with it, and then we'll go out and make it happen. Then sometimes we just go out there and let the location make the video, like with ‘Buster Cannon’, and I always add my take on it I feel it needs it to make it special. Or in other scenarios the artist will rely on me to think of a concept entirely. I prefer when an artist has at least some rough idea of how they want the visual to look because no one is going to understand the track more than the artist themselves.
If you had a dream artist you could work with, who would it be?
It changes every year really. Right now, probably Tory Lanez, or Drake. Really whoever’s the biggest guy for the type of music I like to listen to maybe even Lil Uzi Vert.
Follow J Mornix on Twitter and Instagram: @jmornix
Be sure to check out J. Mornix's most viewed video ‘The Move’ by Big Tobz x Blittz as well as a full playlist of his visuals below.