Zo!’s Top Five Moments of 2011 – #4 First Videos Placed in Rotation

Valentine’s Day 2011 – I had just returned home from the school (or “that PLACE” as I would call it) after a typical day of working as a student bodyguard (a/k/a a teacher) and proceeded to send texts to numerous people in my phone letting them know that If they were close to home, pull up in front of the TV real quick and turn on VH1 Soul at 6pm EST… My video for “This Could Be the Night” was set to make its second television appearance (It was run at 10am earlier in the day). I was very promptly informed by my mother who called that morning and left a super excited voicemail, “It came on! Your video was on this morning!!” (To this DAY, she either emails or sends me a text whenever she happens to catch my video) Her voicemail was then accompanied by several texts and tweets that said the same thing. To me, this was pretty exciting being as though prior to the release of SunStorm, I had no videos. We shot footage for “This Could Be the Night” in June of last year. At the time of the shoot, I was told that the final product would be included in the MTV Networks rotation a/k/a VH1 Soul at a later date… after several steps were completed, so I thought to myself, “Just be patient, it’ll show up.” Hell, most times I would pretty much just put it out of my mind for long periods of time so I wouldn’t have to think about it. This was a fairly important accomplishment for me because a producer is normally more behind the scenes and not necessarily looked at as a “frontman.”As a matter of fact, there have been people who I have run into who had been listening to my music for some years, but barely knew what I looked like. So even just for visual’s sake, I felt that a video would be a great look… After seeing the final cut of the video, I was extremely satisfied with the result and couldn’t wait until folks would be able to see me, the crew, and hear my music on a channel that they were familiar with. When the video finally DID air, I stood up so that I was basically positioned in the middle of the living room floor, grabbed the Verizon cable remote and mashed my thumb on the “Volume +” button, which resulted in the TV blaring throughout my house. From there, I was just kinda staring motionless at the screen as if it was the first time I had ever seen my own video… I know that YouTube and other video-based sites are now almost as relevant as television, but there’s still something about seeing and hearing your work of art being displayed on TV that is still rather fascinating to me (you can tell this is my first televised video, huh?). I got on the phone with my parents and spoke with them while one of my cousins called me and screamed into the phone as if she saw me performing at the Super Bowl during halftime. If I remember correctly, the video ran right after The Foreign Exchange’s video for “Maybe She’ll Dream Of Me” – Definitely a surreal moment.

During the space of time that in which I was waiting for “This Could Be the Night” to air, I was contacted by some of vocalist Conya Doss’ people to meet with them about possibly co-starring in a video of hers (“All In You”) that they were set to shoot in November, 2010… Wow, word? Now that was something different and completely unexpected… I’m definitely no actor, nor had I ever been specifically asked to appear in someone’s video before. Regardless, I set up a meeting with them and talked about the “good guy” role I would be playing in the video and I agreed to do it. I ended up shooting the scenes for my part in a day… The next thing I knew, I had “This Could Be the Night” in rotation… and was simultaneously co-starring in another video that was also being run on television. NOW, I get texts and emails from moms that look something like this… “Both videos were on today… Your video came on at 20-after and your acting video came on at 45 after…” (She passes along the times because she knows that the video shows run the videos in the same order each time they air that particular day). That’s her all DAY… Super informative #1 fan.

“Greater Than the Sun” was a video that Phonte and I discussed shooting early on in the planning process of the album, simply because we knew how easy and stress-free it would probably be. When we eventually shot the video back in February, it was the easiest for kats to shoot… we were in Atlanta for a hot second, shot, and rolled out – AND I had some Zaxby’s while on the set!! BUT on the other hand, it has been the most difficult to get into rotation due to editing issues… The most interesting piece to me and my sense of humor is reading the comments made via YouTube as some think that Phonte is the one driving the car, somebody else thinks that Kareem Johnson produced the song and not the video… It kinda had me thinking, “Well shit… What do folks think I do anyway?” haha …Phonte isn’t driving to go and pick himself up from his house in the video! lol Maaaaan, a brovah can’t get credit for shit! LOL But I love how the bright video directly reflects the mood and the content of the song… Perhaps one day soon we’ll be able to enjoy the second video from SunStorm on TV as well…… Two outta three ain’t bad… That’s two more I had on TV this time last year!

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