Synth Beats Synchronise with Science Fiction in DEE EN’s Official Video for ‘Hope to be’

By building a cyberpunk narrative that questions the nature of reality, filmmaker Aditya Rahul breathes new life into the track which was originally released in 2019

A self-taught filmmaker and mathematics student at Delhi University, Aditya Rahul, only had a brief tryst with 3D animation before the lockdown was imposed last year. He primarily worked on documentaries and shorts until singer-songwriter Anchit Magee, a close friend of his, proposed that he creates a music video for his single, Never/Yours. With all the shooting restrictions in mind, Aditya decided to give 3D animation a real shot.

A year into it this month, Aditya rolls out his second 3D animation designed video for Delhi-based psychedelic/synth-pop band, DEE EN’s track, Hope to be from their 2019 EP, Poppin’. It features a neon-drenched, cyberpunk dystopia and follows the journey of a character trying to escape from it. “When I first heard the song’s intro, I imagined a vast landscape in red which I tried to emulate on screen,” he recalls. 

Although he didn’t yet have a story in place, he wanted to work around the idea of a powerful entity controlling the fictional world and a captive yearning to replace them. “I focused on the title of the song and wondered what one ultimately hopes to be,” he explains. An avid consumer of science fiction, he introduced concepts like monoliths and simulated reality to further his narrative before concluding, “no matter how much you run from the system, you circle right back into it.”

The band’s vocalist and guitarist, Saurav Debnath, who had originally written the piece as a love song, likes the current interpretation better. “The abstract sci-fi visuals are fitting for our music,” he points out. While the entire animation process took Aditya three months, the noteworthy cuts that seamlessly tune into the synth-heavy number were the most time-consuming; requiring repeated trial and error. When asked if he aspires to pursue music videos for long-term, he emphasises on making films irrespective of the medium. However, the 21-year-old does call it his “new thing” as he works on collaborations with artists like Parekh & Singh and Arijit Singh while waiting to graduate this year.