There is one thing I remember being invested into from an early age and that is a good story. This idea followed me throughout the years to the point that it has become a major criterion in my selection of books, movies, music videos, podcasts, projects, and so on.
Having a good story is hard because there are many traps in trying to build a relatable moment, but also keeping it original. You can fail this objective really fast by not being relatable enough or, even worse, you can end up offending a group of people.
I get most of my new music by following platform recommendations based on my current playlists. So one day, my beloved Youtube recommendations system presented me with a thumbnail that depicted 2 men really close to each other, almost kissing. And, of course, I clicked it. That was my first introduction to The Blaze universe, in which being human is mandatory for you to be a part of it.
The music video is called Virile. From the get-go, the title is just a perfect choice when linked to the thumbnail. Then, if we go further, the title ties the lyrics perfectly into a bow of love, happiness, friendship, manhood, and togetherness.
The beautiful Blaze
The Blaze is a french-duo from Paris that took the world by storm with their amazing emotional filled dance music. Guillaume and Jonathan are two cousins who decided to follow the French path of electronic music what was started by other duos like Justice and Daft Punk.
Their vision departed the cousins from the pack right from the beginning when they dropped Virile on the “Bromance Records” Youtube channel. When talking about their videos, Jonathan says:
“We were a little bit annoyed to see that every music video is the same, a guy or a girl singing with big cars. We wanted to tell a story, to do something more original.”NY Times
And of course, people are really loving their vision. Even Barry Jenkins, Moonlight director, took the twitter to express his love for The Blaze’s Territory video saying: “this [The Blaze] self-directed vid is THE best piece of art I’ve seen in 2017 HOT DAMN!”. And people agreed with him.
From day 1, Guillaume and Jonathan created their video/music because they want to make people feel things. Their videos are being produced so they bring humanity a little closer. This achievement is due to the fact that the duo uses a series of themes/motifs like love, family, nostalgia, friendship, that transcend cultures.
The intimacy of ‘Virile’ and ‘Queens’
” – I’m rolling. Wanna smoke now or later?”– Virile, The Blaze
This is how simple the video for Virile starts. You hear a man’s voice saying these words while a slow beat prepares the start of the video. “Intimacy” is a recurring theme in The Blaze Universe which starts with this video. Filmed on a budget of $100, this video introduces us into the world of two guys who are dancing, smoking, and singing into an apartment overlooking Brussels. The way these two people interact is purely intimate, due to their part aggressive, part romantic behavior towards each other. Noisey.com describes this video as an “are-they-friends-or-are-they-lovers” interaction between these two characters.
The same energy can be found in The Blaze’s most recent video for the song Queens. The Queens video introduces two young gypsy women who can be friends, sisters or lovers. But we don’t care. The video is built in such a way that we get the fly-on-the-wall effect of just observing human beauty. Unlike Virile, which is a “slice” of the present time depicting an intimate moment between two men, Queens projects a series of flashback memories that grow on top of the funeral image shown at the beginning of the video. Queens tells us a story of love and loss.
The freedom of being human in ‘Territory’ and ‘Heaven’
After Virile’s departure into the world, Territory followed and quickly took the world by storm. Winner of a Grand Prix for “its story on celebrating human condition”, this video established The Blaze’s place into the musical world. This cinematic masterpiece got the public eye with its themes of vulnerability, strength, alienation, and homecoming. There is also a complete feeling of freedom. From the dance scenes on top of the roof to the group of men running on the beach, the video pinpoints the male fragility of the modern man. They successfully depict somebody who is fragile and cries, but who is also virile: a complete human being that embraces feelings and emotions.
Following Territory, the French duo released Heaven, which shares a glimpse of a day into an idyllic community. The same flawless camera work and the continuous flow of image transport us directly into that community of family and friends to assist this joyful celebration of freedom, life, and love. Just as in Territory, the male protagonist is dancing while smoking a joint and interacting with every character there. The entire image is pure poetry.
Up until now The Blaze only released 4 videos, alongside 1 EP (Territory) and 1 Album (Dancehall). Last year they started touring and now they are part of all the big festival lineups. The Blaze is taking the world by storm and it shows. I am 100% sure I am not the only one who is looking forward to the next installment of what The Blaze has in store for us.
Personally, I hope Places gets a video next.
Thank you for reading,