The Q&A: Amorphous gives us the 101 on his new documentary
A couple of months ago, while procrastinating on Youtube, I stumbled across a video titled "Aaliyah x Selena - Rock The Bom Bom (Mashup)" posted by Amorphous. Of course, I clicked on it because when there's two legends in one sentence, whatever it is, is worth checking out. While I'm not a huge fan of mashups, this one felt different. The choice of songs were perfect, the production seamless and the video to accompany it was well edited. I was immediately a fan and eager to hear more from the mastermind behind the video!
If there's one thing you'll learn about Amorphous after following him on ANY social media site, it is that he has a deep love and appreciation for Aaliyah. This love and appreciation manifested itself into a documentary that he wrote, directed AND edited. I mean, come on. That is amazing.
I was so excited to have the opportunity to interview Amorphous' and ask a few questions about his documentary, "AALIYAH - The Inside Look" and his own artistry.
Elle.: What inspired you to do this documentary about Aaliyah and how did you learn all of the aspects of film-making?
Amorphous: Honestly, I had this idea in mind for a while. But for some reason, randomly in February, I just sat down and started it out of nowhere. As for the technical aspects, I have actually been editing since I was eight years old! Film has always been my main passion before music, though they both are very close to my heart. I pretty much taught myself most of the things I know, though I am learning a lot more in the film school I am attending now!
What was your first encounter with Aaliyah's music and what made you fall in love with her artistry?
Ah, I love telling this story. As I'm only 19 years old, many people believe that I was not a fan of Aaliyah until after her untimely passing - which is untrue. I've actually been a fan since I was four! My brother got me and himself a copy of the "AALIYAH" album the day it came out on July 17th, 2001. Ever since then, I was hooked. I don't recall exactly when, but I do remember understanding that she was no longer here on earth. Soon after, I remember listening to "Rock The Boat" driving down to Virginia knowing that she had been in a plane crash. It was a very eerie thought at the time, and as a child I understood it very clearly.
What attracted me most to Aaliyah, was not just simply her artistry, but the person she was in general. Aaliyah simply was a light - a beautiful person, which was only complemented by her beautiful artistry and ability to dare to try something different, even if the critics did not catch on at that time.
It seems as if being a devoted fan and defending an artist that has passed away is looked at oddly today. How do you deal with that perception?
Honestly, I've learned to tune that out. There is this some sort of perception that once an artist passes away, it's like you must forget about them and their contributions to the world. Honestly, sometimes people are just connected to people they look up to, whether we want to or not. I don't think it's a bad thing at all, I think it serves to keep their legacies alive and well. I know I have seen plenty of people on Twitter try to tell me to let Aaliyah "rest in peace" when I praise her or admire her accomplishments publicly. I think that's ignorant. But, I've learned as I've gotten older that I shouldn't hide it for the sake of someone else.
I saw that you visited Aaliyah's gravesite in New York. What was that experience like?
I actually never thought I would get the chance to, honestly! The documentary is really what brought me there, as I was and am very adamant on getting exactly what I want and need for it. As I attend school in Florida now, I knew that Spring Break would be the absolute perfect opportunity for me to swing up there [New York] and catch some footage, not only of her gravesite but possibly of the church where her funeral was held as well.
It was a truly [an] overwhelming experience. I truly did not fully grasp the fact that the woman that I have looked up to ever since my inception, that has inspired me beyond belief, that I truly have felt such a connection to for as long as I can remember, was merely inches away from me. She was right there. Literally. It still feels unreal. I got to experience that with my brother as well, who was the one who introduced me to her music. It was beyond surreal. I poured my heart out to her, and just told her how much we miss her, how much we love her, and that I hope to make her and her family proud.
While you have this amazing documentary coming out, you are also a producer! You have an arsenal of mashups and reworkings of R&B and pop classics on Soundcloud and Youtube so, are you or will you be working on any music projects in the future?
Thank you so much! Yes, yes, music is what I'm known for most at the moment! I can tell you now, that I am working very hard on an album - and I can also tell you that it's bananas. I'm working with a lot of upcoming artists, as well as some established on their projects, which I cannot wait to fully discuss in the future! The support for my music has been overwhelming, honestly. After this documentary, things "music wise" will be right in full swing as this is quite the daunting (but rewarding) project for one person.
Were you also responsible for the film scoring of the documentary?
Surprisingly, I won't be scoring the film this time around. I felt as that might have been a bit too much with school and everything. However, some of my music will definitely be included in the documentary!
"AALIYAH - The Inside Look" premieres tomorrow, August 25th exclusively on the documentary's website, aaliyahtheinsidelook.com. Make sure you check out this amazing project and be sure to follow Amorphous on Twitter!