Electro-Pop Artist Shor’s Latest Video Decodes The Numbing News Cycle

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Filmmaker Sanjna Krishnan depicts how the young cope with internal and external tribulations of information overload in the music video for SHOR’s new single, ‘Khoye Se’

Last week, the release of the music video for Khoye Se marked the sixth collaboration between filmmaker Sanjana Krishnan and solo-artist Rohan Shetty. The two have known each other for a long time. They worked together at Deloitte in Hyderabad before switching careers two years ago.

Following the successful reception of his debut single, Tera, last year, Shetty penned down several songs within a span of two months. One of them was Khoye Se. “At that time, I was in a space where everyday felt the same. I was just getting by without feeling anything,” he recalls. While writing the song, he drew up two people who don’t understand the world around them but understand each other.

However, months later, when Krishnan and Shetty got together to conceptualise a video for the single, they got stuck. The two wanted to create a fictional world for Shetty’s characters. “We were bouncing off ideas for two months,” says Shetty. Amidst the pandemic, they would constantly get distracted by news notifications. “The death toll was rising. People were getting sacked. We would react to it intensely, but within minutes we would return to matters at hand,” says Krishnan. Observing how they felt “attached and yet so detached” from the state of the world, Krishnan chose to use it as subtext.

The music video opens with Shor finding himself lonely in a room full of people battling internal and external struggles. Caricature-like characters deal with toxic news, body image issues, narcissism and burnout. As he walks past them, his mind clouds up. Along the way, he meets a girl, falls in love, gets married and manages to stay disconnected. But, no matter where the couple runs to, the characters find a way to catch up. Krishnan portrays the story using literal action, vibrant colours and a whimsical set-design. “Each character has a colour assigned to them. It signifies their dominant emotion,” she explains. They can also be interpreted as different emotions in one’s own mind that often tend to overwhelm. “The concept is a bit heavy and requires careful observation. But we wanted to make sure that it looks visually appealing at the same time,” Krishnan adds.

Shetty wanted his music project to be an audio-visual endeavour from the beginning. All his videos depict dreamy, surreal visuals and feature recurring narratives and characters. “I want the songs and videos to be part of one fictional world,” he says. Khoye Se is the first release under Big Indie Bang, an initiative headed by Raghav Meattle, that promotes niche artists and promises a new-age soundscape. Due to the involvement of the banner, Shetty and Krishnan regard the single as their biggest project so far and are currently collaborating on fresh material.