Tayla Hunter unveils a visual ensemble of cinema and performance in her music video for ‘What If’ featuring Lee Cole

Tayla Hunter unveils a visual ensemble of cinema and performance in her music video for ‘What If’ featuring Lee Cole

18-year-old cape town-based singer-songwriter, tayla hunter, unveils the music video for her latest hit single ‘what if’ featuring lee cole.


Tayla hunter is steadily making a mark in the music industry with a string of hit singles, but it’s the success of her current track ‘what if’ that’s undeniably getting her noticed. The single has been climbing the kfm top 40 charts for the past few weeks and fans will be excited to see the music video, which features the much-loved lee cole (who also produced the single alongside cosher studios producer, ben howard / aka heproducedit).

Tayla once again joins forces with director lucinda ohlson, who also filmed the brilliant music video for her previous single ‘out of mind’.

Linking the message of the song’s theme to the music video for ‘what if’, is captured in a cinematic masterpiece by lucinda who explains how the idea for the video came about: “tayla and her team sent me the song ‘what if’ and when i listened to it, i was immediately drawn into this world of beauty and elegance, yet it was youthful. As i resonated with the lyrics, there was this push and pull energy i felt coming off the story of the song. Taking that into consideration, i scribbled a messy drawing of a stage and two lovers struggling to commit to one another. From that i then created a world i believed would suit their dilemma and visualized the play of an artistic metaphor of their entire tug and war. It's a theatrical piece with a touch of modern flare.”

The world created in the music video, was inspired by the feel of the single. Lucinda took a romantic song that needed a world that would suit it.  “the world is completely inspired by modern fantasy and theater; the characters and performance are relatable, and the setup is majestic and inviting,” she explains. “i wanted something to ground this world in reality and using a school hall can spark so many memories for some and i believed it would be the ideal space to work in. I then used the space to create what i had envisioned in my head, something lush and murky to bring forth that mystery element. Simon mchlough, who's an incredible art director, collaborated with me on this and did a wonderful job executing what was needed to match the vision along with the wardrobe. The dancers were as much a prop as they were performers playing these phantoms that could be symbolic of past relationships or life moments.”

Tayla absolutely loved working with lucinda again and adored her vision for the music video. “working on set of this music video was so much of a magical experience. I was surrounded by my friends who all fulfilled a role in the video and helped the incredible vision and imagery lucinda imagined, come to life.  This was my second time working with lucinda as director on my music video and i know i will never use anyone else to make visions come to life. My team was absolutely wonderful in every aspect of the word and i couldn't be more grateful for being a part of this.” 

The video sees a special appearance from lee cole, who’s no stranger to video shoots when it comes to his own music. This time around he was the guest and had to learn some tricky dance moves, but it paid off beautifully. “working on the set of ‘what if’ was crazy fun! Lucinda had a vision and to see everything come to life was magical. The best part about it all was the relaxed vibe off set. Everyone was just being themselves which made filming the video so much easier. Tayla and i were constantly cracking jokes between takes. It was incredible and i was so happy to be part of it,” says lee.

Tayla echoes lee’s sentiments, saying “lee and i had a great time making jokes and playing around on the piano. It was so intriguing to see him work with a professional dancer, and the way the rest of the dancing team all fell into place as soon as the cameras started rolling. It was an unforgettable shoot and i’m so grateful for everyone that played a part.”

Once filming was done, it was time for the post-production team to add their magic. Lucinda talks further about the cinematography and editing process, saying “they were both based on old-school framing and angles where we shoot and cut according to emotion and performance leading up to the reveal. Keeping it smooth and eloquent with a mixture of colour tones to fulfill an enchanted space and hopefully entice the viewer. The director of photography, stephan hambsch was great to work with, along with ludus post-production on finalising the edit of the film.”

Tayla is overwhelmed by the incredible team she has once again had the privilege to work with and applauds everyone involved who brought this magical experience to the screen. “when it comes to post-production, no one beats ludus. They were absolutely amazing, giving me snippets all the way and working so closely with lucinda to ensure everyone had the same visions. Once again, thank you to all my friends, dancers and the full production team for everything, another unforgettable experience!” And tayla’s excited for everyone to finally see this labour of love that has turned ‘what if’ into her finest music video release to date.


Image: Tshimo Molefe

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