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Alexander Spit Explodes the California Fantasy in ‘Bon Voyage’

The rapper and director Sam Hayes describe their “colorful and psychedelic exploration of the outsiders and misfits living in and around San Francisco and Los Angeles”

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Alexander Spit’s “Bon Voyage” video, directed by Sam Hayes, opens with a serene shot of the Pacific Ocean. Fifteen seconds later, however, the mood flips, and we see the rapper looking back at the lens, illuminated only by the flames behind him and the lit cigarette that hangs from his mouth.

Describing the clip as a “colorful dreamscape of juxtapositions,” Hayes explains that he emphasized “a lot of textures, colors, close ups, details of daily life and details of objects, all cut together to give a fever dream idea of California – now and then, picture and reality.” Their intent, he says, was to explode the myth that the Golden State is a happy-go-lucky paradise, drawing out the “dark undertone of the California ‘permanent vacation.'”

To do this, Hayes and Spit filmed much of the video in San Francisco’s Chinatown, creating scenes on the street, in an abandoned warehouse and in a flashing arcade. “I wanted to give people that feeling you get when you’re with somebody in their city,” says Hayes. “San Francisco’s Chinatown still has this no-man’s-land quality, you can still find back rooms in Chinatown bars where people are gambling.”

Now that the video has been released, Hayes returned to developing his first feature film, and Spit has returned to the studio. “I’m working on a bunch of new material,” he says, “but with a lot more patience and discipline then I’ve ever practiced before. I’m trying to really maintain as much consistency with concepts, sound and aesthetics as possible.”

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