Oriental Minimalism To Pop – Hollywood Life

by ARKANSAS DIGITAL NEWS

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Image Credit: via Dong Lei

Dong Lei was the obvious choice for Oxlade and Camila Cabello’s new music video, Ku Lo Sa. The experienced production designer was able to take challenges like tight timing and location constraints and turn them into an immensely popular video. Lei was excited to bring his vision of oriental minimalism to the video, which was all about blending cultures from around the world.

Oxlade’s original version of Ku Lo Sa became a hit for the Nigerian artist. His team decided to open up the Afrobeat song to the Latino and American markets by creating a remix. Oxlade was excited to have Camila Cabello join the track, and her smooth vocals added just the right flavor to the music. The pop superstar brings a new audience to the song as well. Cabello is known for her time as a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony and her illustrious solo career, including Billboard hits like Crying in the Club and Havana. Her music often pays homage to her Latin roots, and the blending of different cultures gives the remix of Ku Lo Sa an international appeal. When Dong Lei joined the project to create the music video, he decided to take this global sensibility to a new level.

Lei’s vision for the music video was to add more of his own Asian culture into the production design. He and director Boma Iluma were inspired by their shared love of oriental minimalism when designing the set of the video. Lei strives to bring more color and culture to every set he works on, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. The video was shot on a very tight schedule due to Cabello and Oxlade’s availability, but Lei did not let that stop him from creating a stunning look for the video. 

Cabello and Oxlade were only available at the same time the day after the Thanksgiving holidays to shoot the video, meaning there would be limited time and resources during the shoot. Lei worked with Iluma to bring their vision to life, even though they had to get creative and do much of the work themselves. They decided to make the whole video look like it was shot inside a museum. As part of Iluma’s vision, he wanted to shoot Cabello and Oxlade on a motorcycle. Concluding that it would not fit the vibe to have the motorcycle on the street, Lei put it on a museum platform indoors and covered it with an enormous 22-by-50-foot white cloth. The shot came out perfectly and became the album cover image for the remix. 

The Ku Lo Sa Remix video now has over 9.2 million views on YouTube thanks to Lei’s clever vision and expert production design. In addition to working with the two global pop stars, Lei has created the vision behind music videos for artists like Hollow Coves and Davion Farris. His work in film is also earning him plenty of praise. He worked on the recent film My Nights Glow Yellow, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Lei’s work on the film The Cello Player was recognized by the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and the Hollywood Moving Pictures Film Festival, earning him the Best Production Design Award.

Dong Lei is becoming recognized as a pioneer in his field because of his unique sensibilities. He is able to bring an Asian flair to his work that gives his music videos and films a wide-reaching appeal. Lei’s top-tier production design brings something new to the industry. 

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