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State of Play: André Reid-McKinley, Somesuch

State of Play: André Reid-McKinley, Somesuch

Rob Ulitski - 14th Feb 2023

In the first of a new series, we ask André Reid-McKinley - Somesuch's music video rep in London - about the important take-aways from 2022, and his predictions and hopes for 2023.  

André recalls an eye-opening trip to Los Angeles last year, tips a new wave of emerging directors for greatness, and ponders how the business of music video production may evolve in the coming months.


How would you describe last year in a few words?

Challenging - but it was a good learning experience. Found different ways to work more efficiently and effectively. 

What was your favourite project or projects you worked on last year?

Duncan Loudon’s video for Tourist's Your Love, which won an MVA for the Best Dance/Electronic Video. That was pretty special. 

Above: Tourist - Your Love, directed by Duncan Loudon

A few other highlights include Femi Ladi’s video for Chase & Status' Mixed Emotions. But S/O to Vince Haycock’s Maxo (48), Tajana Tokyo’s Channel Tres (6am) and Autumn Durald Arkapaw's Rihanna video for Lift Me Up - wish I was involved in that one.

"Going to karaoke for my first time ever and experiencing that with Cliqua I feel is something everyone should experience."

Any other project you enjoyed that deserved more attention, or went under the radar?

Leo Leigh’s video for The Smile's Free in the Knowledge (below). It was the first music video he’s done with us at Somesuch - the art designer on set was incredible and made this whole universe for the video.

What were the best aspects of the job last year?

I think one of the best aspects all year round is the people you meet and the connections built, whether it's directors, commissioners, artists, managers and young creatives. 

What were the most challenging aspects of the job last year?

Coming out of the pandemic, generally last year was a bit slow. Which was a challenge as part of my role is ensuring that all our directors are booked and busy.

It's a balancing act between ensuring a good range of jobs. So helping build reels for young directors, but also sharing interesting projects with the more experienced directors, to help them progress in different ways. 

Above: The Smile - Free In The Knowledge, directed by Leo Leigh

Best or favourite video or videos last year that you weren’t involved with?

I could actually name a few more too. So sorry for those I’ve missed out that I really should have included.

What was other cultural highlight (or highlights) of the year? 

In terms of videos I feel KLVDR's video for Stormzy's Mel Made Me Do It and Otis Dominique's for Raye's Escapism were highlights. They both in different ways show the outcome/impact a video can have when you don’t focus on outside noise. 

Any other personal experience that defines 2022 for you?

Travel last year was great - with and without work. Such an eye-opener for me, especially my trip to LA. Seeing the difference between people’s energies in LA and the UK and comparing it. From our Somesuch office over there and meeting those staff to other creatives I had the pleasure of meeting.

Also going to karaoke for my first time ever, and experiencing that with Cliqua I feel is something everyone should experience.

There will be a lot of exciting releases this year - I’m intrigued to see the visuals to come with it.


What are you looking forward to in 2023 – both for work and for other parts of your life?

I feel there will be a lot of exciting releases this year and I’m intrigued to see the visuals to come with it. 

On a personal level - planning on launching something this year but watch this space. As well as Somesuch’s film department - really excited to see the work we produce.

Have you set work objectives for this year and if so, what are they?

In my yearly review at Somesuch they asked us to write 3/4 goals for next year. I ended up writing about 6/7. I won’t disclose all but I’d like to win us 15+ Jobs. A few single bids for some of our directors. Bring in a certain number of budgets of a certain price range up.

I won’t reveal too much more since it's enough having my team hold me accountable for my big goals. LOL!

Who are the up-and-coming talents that you think will break through this year – or at least deserve to be successful?

I have a few, even regarding artists. I’m not too sure what qualifies for up-and-coming these days so I hope these names don’t cause offence but...

  • Jeano Edwards
  • Renee Maria-Osubu
  • Tajana Tokyo
  • Edem Wornoo
  • Gabriel Moses
  • Kay Ibrahim 
  • Gabriella Kingsley
  • Taliable
  • Lydia Garnett

There’s so much talent around at the moment, I could truly write a few more names down.

Above: Adidas Originals x Wales Bonner, directed by Jeano Edwards

What is your prediction for the direction of the industry in 2023? And what will be the big trends for the year ahead?

It’s always quite hard to predict, especially when sometimes videos and events can cause waves within the industry. I feel like we’d be moving towards a better direction for fairer pay and equity for creatives in music videos. Also:

  • Short films, more narrative longer music videos, wider content around artists in addition to just videos.
  • More brands getting involved in music projects to connect to a younger audience.
  • One thing I’d personally love to see is more women directing music videos and being recognised through award shows like the UKMVAs. 
  • Finally I think we’ll see more artists directing or being more involved within the creative process.
It would be great for videos to get more investment to realise the creative visions.

Any other comments about the current environment for music video production and music video creativity? What are the issues that we should be most concerned with?

Sometimes it feels like there can be a disconnect between briefs, creative expectations and budgets. We always try to be creative to pull things together and leaning on our connects, giving opportunities to younger directors, etc. But it would be great for videos to get more investment to realise the creative visions.

The crews that work on these rely on the jobs for their day-to-day income, so there should be accountability to ensure everyone is getting to eat properly.

If you could ‘make a wish’, and reform or change the environment in which you work in one way, what would you wish for?  

Like all the previous questions I could write a mini-dissertation on this. It is quite hard to choose one but I’d probably say, after having a conversation with Nathan Tettey about this recently and he summed it so well:

"Creatives need to now be respectfully reimbursed financially for the work they put into music videos…"

Have you made any personal New Year resolutions? And if so, how’s it going?

I don’t really make resolutions because I always strive to be a better person / better version of me everyday. I am my biggest critique and truly set high standards for myself and those I work with. So I’d probably say to stay consistent and disciplined in everything I’m trying to achieve.

• André Reid-McKinley is Music Video Rep at Somesuch in London. 

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