Senior Arts Reporter
Award-winning videographer Vusa Hlatshwayo, affectionately known as Blaqs, has trumped on sentiments that he favours some artistes over others. This follows accusations that he sabotages other artistes in favour of Jah Prayzah.
Blaqs was recently criticised over Enzo Ishall’s “Magate” ‘allegedly sub-standard video’.
He is also accused of delaying videos for some artistes and scolding them on set.
In an interview with The Herald Arts, Blaqs said people will always have their opinions about him but he maintains his professionalism, no matter who you are.
“What people do not understand is the creativeness and chemistry between an artiste and a videographer. I read books, analyse the situation and sit down with the client before shooting the video and we discuss the concept together.
“I am an information person, thus I research a lot. I don’t favour artistes but I work within their means. I always use the best tools no matter who you are, depending on your conditions,” he said.
Blaqs refuted directing “Magate”.
He said he was not worried about what people say, but is only affected by the performance of the project. “For a start, I did not direct the “Magate” video, which some are saying was bad or good. I only collaborated with the artiste on ideas.
“Unfortunately they had only two hours to shoot the video and I can say what was shot was only a quarter of what was planned. We had other scenes planned but they were not shot. I can’t say the video was done hurriedly, but we are proud of the outcome.
“We had challenges on the set too, but I am proud of what we managed to do with the video, how it is trending and blending religion with music.
“Then the latest Jah Prayzah video (“Kunerima”) with MisRed, we shot it recently in Chisipiti. We had 12 hours but managed to do eight. I sat down with Jah Prayzah and we agreed on certain aspects,” he said.
Though “Kunerima” video has received mixed feelings over it’s viewership compared to Winky D and Gemma Griffiths — Mugardeni.
The “Kunerima” song, which was released last year has thus far failed to please many, despite the good quality video.
Blaqs said he is not preconditioned to like other artistes compared to Jah Prayzah. “I think people say that because I am always with Military Touch Movement, but they forget that I also have my other business aside. I don’t favour Jah Prayzah, when we are doing business it is strictly professionalism.
“I take time with videos because it is not about me, but I should create history thus in 10 years to come people will talk about the video not that it was delayed or what,” he said.
The outspoken producer said he is driven more by passion.
“I love music and video directing. I do what clients tell me. If you want your video by tomorrow, I do tomorrow; if you want a month I do so. So far, the longest edit I have done was EX-Q’s “Bhachura” and Jah Prayzah’s “Dzamutsana”. They took a month to complete,” he said.
He added that musicians should be willing to invest in their videos rather than pressurise a videographer.
Asked about his on-off good boy gone bad attitude, Blaqs said he was a straight-forward person and this created enemies for him.
“In-order to be creative as I am, I need to be in touch with my emotions, but sometimes in a diplomatic way. I am a straight-talk person and that is me ever since growing up,” he said,
The videographer said he was inspired by United States rapper Kanye West.