CKay’s music video for his latest single ‘mmadu’ off his debut album Sad Romance shows the beauty and intense energy of physical affection and desire which ignites a molten rock and hot gas eruption. Lagos, Nigeria is the setting for this beautiful romantic escapade which director Ahmed Mosh does well in capturing. The video makes its way through different parts of lush Lagos – its ocean; its terribly unrelenting and vast green horizontal landscape; and its fierce concrete jungle. From the onset, CKay’s gaze is striking and his intention clear, seen as he pushes plates of food aside to make room for something else that has sparked his interest. The singer and his love interest find themselves floating through each scene, moving closer and deeper into one another, propelled by a force neither one of them is able to overcome.

While his previous music videos for hit songs ‘love nwantiti’ and ‘emiliana’ show a gentler CKay pursuing his ‘small love’ somewhere in Nigeria or serenading a girl named Emiliana in sunny Dakar, ‘mmadu’ reveals a more mature intrigue to the star. The song and its visual companion piece are pure ecstasy and devoted to celebrating sensation. All this allows CKay to be more poised in how he chooses to make art. Of both song and video, the star admits:

The inspiration, simply put, was sexual tension. It’s more sensual than my previous videos. It makes me feel a mixture of sensuality, love and sadness. An interesting mix of emotions. Very few songs make me feel like that.

Interpersonal relationships are of course an important theme and foundation for CKay’s music which is a passion he shares with Mosh. As a storyteller himself, the way in which Mosh captures black bodies is interesting. His lens is sympathetic to how black people move, exist and activate the spaces they occupy. His subjects, at their core, are warm, vibrant, alive and honest, a quality CKay appreciates:

Working with Ahmed was great, as usual. He knows how to work with emotions and vibes quite well. He also brings the beauty out of African aesthetics in a way very few can.

As we begin to see CKay become a more nuanced artist who makes music that inspires fans to feel more viscerally, we also begin to see an artist who more intentionally indulges his own enthusiasm for love experience and how he might share this with the world. As a consequence, his storytelling, at least for Sad Romance, is both forward and inward looking.

Watch the Music Video: