More so than not the meetings that myself or the team partake in are strictly business related. The amount of time invested in going to and from locations, meeting new people face to face. Interacting, socializing and getting to know those on a personal level is strenuous albeit exciting. And though I'm happy for every new client we get and every customer turned friend, somedays it's just nice to see other like minded individuals in their element and workspace, working hard to make their dreams come true and sharing in their process.
Last Friday, during what ended up being yet another very long day of meetings and appointments, myself and AJ were invited by the teams' good friend Xylk, one half of the Plaitwrights, to visit them as they were in the midst of filming their video for their newest single "craveyou", off their anticipated "insects, ligaments" mixtape. Never one to turn down the chance to support friends, we gladly met them at a local park in beautiful downtown Toronto.
As we arrived, we saw Xylk in the midst of filming his scenes and we were greeted by the lovely Angela Abrenica (the singer in this talented duo) and were able to converse and catch up. Not to my surprise, the video itself is carefree, full of youthful exuberance and fun just as their music. Focusing on the vibe and storytelling aspect both through the auditory and visual experience, the song is a tune about the times in relationships that the Plaitwrights describe as "for when you're here, but not really". Or simplified, the points in relationships when you're present, but can't physically be there for your partner because of priorities. The building of a future with one another while going through the perils of time apart and selfishly needing them with you at all times.
As we spent the few hours we had with each others company, I came away looking at the parallel lives the Plaitwrights and our team here at NTHNG are living and having a new found respect for them. Seeing these young, eager, talented individuals putting all their energy and combined strengths into making sure their dreams come true, all on their own, without little to no help but from each other, made me see how their journey is much like ours. It's the struggles they face now that I know will keep these two level headed and grounded when good things finally comes their way. It's knowing literally how to make something out of nothing, and having to try and make sense of it all. Finding self in one's art form. Finding success in the lives you touch and making believers out of doubters. This is what they do with every lyric that is written, every note played and every melody hummed. They find a way to put it all together, capturing moments out of everyday life and turning them into stories with melody. Xylk with his brash and clever rhymes. Angela with a voice that couldn't hit a bad note, even if she tried. In this day and age, it's hard pressed to find two individuals so dedicated to their craft. It's quite simply refreshing to witness.
On that note, big thank you to Xylk and Angela for asking us to come out, not knowing what to expect but just wanting to be there for support. You guys are artists in a true sense of the word and I can't wait to see what the world has in store for the both of you and your team. The music you make is beautiful and it's only a matter of time before it reaches the ears of someone who needs to hear it. I promise you guys, you will make it.
Also, big shout out to Xylk for rocking our very own Pullover Mandarin Collar Dress Shirt all throughout the video. Seeing the character and wear you've put into that piece over the time you've had it is a beautiful thing and the team and I are very blessed and honoured that you had chose our dress shirt specifically as your shirting of choice for "craveyou". It means a lot. Thank you fam.
'insects, ligaments' mixtape is dropping TOMORROW, July 24, 2014 and will be available here, free for download.
Enjoy the behind the scenes photos.
p l a it.
Words by Bernard Manarin
Photos by AJ Afidchao