BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Recently, I spoke to Shayfer James about his music video "Filthy Habit," which is featured on his latest EP "Haunted Things." I asked him what his vision was for the video and how it came to be.
I knew going into the making the video that I wanted to work with gender bending. There are so many obvious problems with the way gender and sexuality are defined in our culture, and I'm not personally aware of many other cis males who are taking steps to challenge the norm, though I'm sure it must be happening. I wanted to make the video sensual and playful, while also challenging this ridiculous fascination we have with objectifying the female body.
Digging a bit deeper, the table-top, for me, represents an element of the human psyche. A plane upon which we tend to define things as either masculine or feminine in a very two-dimensional way. I enjoy challenging those definitions within myself, and thought this was a pretty simple way to express my own internal dialogue.
Collaboratively, director Mason Beggs stretched things further with the water fetish element of the story. It was a beautiful thing to watch such a bizarre concept evolve into a strong statement of conflict, empowerment, and self indulgence. Mason is brilliant, a dream to work with. The entire team involved was incredible, from the lighting and set design to the actors and choreographer, and DP Chris Night, who has shot all my official videos so far. Everyone understood what we were there to accomplish, despite there being no specific narrative, there was only this concept that all of us related to in a different way. It was a damn good day.
Don't forget to watch the video in its entirety below. Shayfer is also playing a show on November 17th at 11:00 p.m. at The Way Station.