GRAMMY Winner Mark Kudsi Looks At The Video Industry

Ilya Hora, 2016 GRAMMY Camp LA

The music industry goes far beyond the tracks we hear on the radio or Spotify or sing in the shower envisioning ourselves in a music video. This morning as part of the Guest Professional Day during the third day at GRAMMY Camp, Ebony Graham and I were honored to host GRAMMY-winning videographer, Mark Kudsi, known for directing stunning music videos and various advertisements.

In 2009, Kudsi was awarded the Best Music Video Title at the GRAMMY Awards for directing the Black Eyed Peas’ hit, “Boom Boom Pow.” This was Kudsi’s big break in the music industry, “It [winning a GRAMMY] was something I never dreamed of. It was such an honor, a great feeling to be selected.” Will.I.Am requested that the music video had a digital theme. Kudsi’s impressive aesthetic ideas come from a variety of sources combined, “"It depends. Sometimes musicians will have certain thoughts. Sometimes you get nothing but the sound and lyrics. Sometimes it's the emotion; sometimes it's the music composition that attracts it. It really depends and changes, that's why you see so many different interpretations."

Kudsi has also had the honor to work with pop star, Katy Perry. Perry and Kudsi collaborated to create a visual for “Roar,” her first single on the Prism album. The video depicts Perry as the queen of the jungle in this song about self-confidence – perfectly fitting. The visuals were based on comic books, as Kudsi showed in his presentation. When creating a music video, Kudsi likes to consult with the artist on deriving a central theme for his visuals.

His advertising career also brought him to great attention, “In the commercial world, the Fiat project that I did was for me, presented the things I love. It also won a bunch of awards. It was an honor to have a project of mine be recognized in a way among my peers and even the public had something to say about it."

Interestingly enough, music videos and advertisements are both used for promotion, according to Kudsi. “There are a lot of differences between the two. The main thing between the two is that you are selling a brand in a commercial and an artist in a music video. There is a lot more involvement with a marketing agency and a lot more strategy. There is a lot more to be involved with. The music video relies on the interpretation of the sound and collaboration with the artist. Music videos are a lot freer. It's a good creative outlet."  The difference between the two is that commercials are more targeted to an audience.

Through creating advertisements and music videos, Kudsi never fails to grab a viewers’ attention through his stunning graphics and exceptional hard work.

In the Spotlight

Lauren Padilla

GRAMMY Camp St. Paul 2014


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