Appearing on every platform from iPhones to the mighty IMAX screens, the colourful emoji is now centre stage what we in Today Translations consider to be the coolest music video, thanks to Berlin band Yuri & Neil. This is an amazing work of art, created on a tight budget, and you have to see it. To enjoy it on your mobile, play in vertical position with headphones on.
Their song ‘Dolphin’ was recorded in 2016 in the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin. It was not long after David Bowie had passed away and since Bowie had recorded a lot of his most famous material in these studios, they decided to honour him by adding (or trying to add) a little “Bowieness” in the lyrics and emojis. As they are yet to be signed to a label, the band had to pay for the recording themselves and basically had no budget left to shoot a live performance video. What they did, have, however, was bags of creativity and chaotic group chats that produced a sensational, original piece of work from concept to release in under a week.
We asked band’s bass player Jochen Vrba how they came up with the idea of using emojis in their music video. “Sometimes, all it takes to create a new idea is a group chat between people, ideally people that don´t know how to group chat”, says Jochen.
Their “all emoji music video”, as the band call it, was one of the happy accidents to emerge from such a group chat. Jochen explained that whilst they were discussing ideas for the video, they were all writing at the very same time to the extent that it near impossible to know what was on each other’s mind. The communication became more tricky when they started to use emojis to create a storyboard. “Just to be clear,” says Jochen, “We didn´t think about making the actual music video in emojis but after a lot of confusion it suddenly dawned on us. The story we had sketched with emojis, should be a video of a chat using nothing but emojis – that´s it!”
One thing lead to another and two days later the band had a script for the video. As always, the devil´s in the detail and they spent another two days putting the work together and choosing the right emojis and images to work in perfect timing with the song. Jochen explained, “Typing was tough but cutting and editing was hell! In the end, it paid off and we have a beautiful video, made with a budget of nothing but creativity and passion”.
The band take their name from two cosmic heroes – Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space and Neil Armstrong, the first person on the moon. Yuri & Neil are an interstellar echo of these early pioneers, sending their creative waves of energy into the vastness of cyber and intergalactic space.
Congratulations to Yuri & Neil, we love the song and video. Thank you for sharing your story with us and may your group chats bring you eternal joy and success!
Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yuriandneil