Featured workUmlilo: Magic Man

In Magic Man, his fifth official video single to date, singer and performer Umlilo inhabits a mystical realm that yearns to extend beyond imposed walls.

The performance is a rant against a society that confines itself to mainstream binaries. “Magic Man represents a person’s metamorphosis from a tortured outsider to a fully realized divine being and I wanted the music to reflect the transformation,” Umlilo asserts. “It’s one of my most personal songs and I wanted to explore the physical struggle in all of us to transcend beyond the ordinary and mundane to become greater people.” Pushing boundaries has been the backbone of the so-called kwaai diva, who produces an electronic fusion of dark post-dub, afro dancehall accents and baroque synth-pop that is hard to categorize. Shot at the Old Cotton Mills in Epping, Cape Town, the video reunites Umlilo with director Jasyn Howes and cinematographer Nicolas van der Westhuizen, all Cape Town-based creatives. With avant-garde styling expertise by Art Mataruse, make-up by Charli VDR and visuals by Danielle Clough, alias Fiance Knowles, Magic Man’s twisted scenes create the ambience for a dark and indulgent journey through an alternate reality, as the track’s thumping bass is coated by Umlilo’s vocals.