The Brooklyn-based electronic music producer premieres his video for the title track of his Grammy-nominated album on NH7. Oh, and free downloads!
j.viewz is the project of electronic music producer and composer Jonathan Dagan. The moniker literally comes from Jonathan’s views (with a ‘z’). Dagan releases the latest music video for his lead single ‘Rivers And Homes‘ from his second studio album of the same name along with a free download on NH7.
The video has Dagan sporting a catsuit (less Halle Berry, more Sesame Street) walking/running on a frozen lake and through snowy climes in upstate New York, which was shot by director Shelly Carmel (who previously directed j.viewz video for his single ‘Salty Air’). While photographer Eran Amir created the stop-motion portion of the video using 2,000 printed frames and 300 fans during the j.viewz tour in Israel early in 2012.
Dagan tells us a bit more about the video
‘Rivers And Homes’, the song, has a strong sense of ‘togetherness’ even though it has no lyrics it talks about lots of people together and maybe it also talks about confetti and bonfires. So when I stumbled upon Eran’s technique, which in a way plays the video through the audience, it made perfect sense for this song and I reached out to him. Later, I had this idea to build a tagging engine so people could actually tag themselves in a frame and also leave their mark on that particular frame by commenting on it.
We actually shot two videos, the first was directed by Shelly Carmel and shot in upstate NY. We spent 20 hours on a frozen lake to shoot it and then we printed all of the frames from what we shot onto real old fashion photos, lots of them. We took the photos with us on a tour we had in Israel and that was the stop-motion part that the second director Eran made. He asked each person in the audience to hold an individual frame and slowly rebuilt the video we shot. For the last part of the video we went back to NY and hung part of the photos on my friend’s bedroom wall. By the way, we’re giving away the photos we used, each frame will be delivered with every album ordered on our online shop, until we run out.
About the catsuit, Dagan explained, “I went to buy some smoke bombs and stuff like that a day before the shooting and I saw this catsuit in the store. I just got into the van with it early morning. The stylist wasn’t digging it but at that point I had nothing else to offer in the middle of nowhere.”
As part of j.viewz, Dagan is often accompanied by singers Noa Lembersky, Kelli Scarr and Joshua James, along with trumpeters Urijah and Kelly Pratt, saxophonist Daniel Zamir, percussionist Glen Velez and keyboard players Yakir Ben-Tov and David Adda. His first EP released in March 2008, featured three-time Grammy-winning drummer Glen Velez (in the category of Best New Age Album category) and his well-known blues/jazz cover of ‘Smooth Criminal’ (check it out here). He has worked on on the first track on Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale’s album Breathing Under Water. Two of his tracks (an untitled one and ‘Salty Air’) where used for a Victoria Secret ad, and a Revlon ad with Halle Berry. We wondered what Dagan thought of the emerging trend of j.viewz music being juxtaposed with hot women? “Isn’t that why people get into making music in the first place? Everything works according to the master plan.”
The Rivers and Homes album was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Recording Package in 2011. According to Dagan, the album package was essentially a ‘visual diary’ of the fan-funded process. Check it out below.
Dagan has come to India for the Shalom Festival in New Delhi in 2006 and 2008. When asked whether he had any plans of coming to India again he said, “We really want to. We performed in India a couple of times before and had an incredible time. I felt a strong connection to the overall vibe and to the people. I hope we’ll be there later this year.”
Check out j.viewz’s ‘Rivers And Homes’ below. Share the video here and get a free download from j.viewz’s second studio album.