David Knight - 20th May 2016

Johan Renck has talked candidly about working with David Bowie on the videos for Blackstar and Lazarus, both nominated at the Nordic Music Video Awards, which takes place tomorrow night, May 21st, in Oslo.

In an interview with Nordic Playlist, Renck talks about getting to know Bowie when he asked him to write the title score to the TV miniseries The Last Panthers. Bowie agreed, producing a piece of music that would become the title track of his final album. And Renck reveals that he was consulted during the creation of the track, through a series of Skype conversations with Bowie and his producer Tony Visconti. 

Renck told Nordic Playlist: “They would play me the stuff and ask me what I think, and I’d find myself going ‘I’m not really keen on the guitar here’, and they’d go ‘OK, hold on – we’ll call you back in two hours with something else,’ and they would literally do that! Call back with something else, and I would go ‘Oh that’s perfect!’

"I felt like a horrible person for sitting there and placing judgment on the creations of David Bowie. But at the same time, he invited it because he was very generous and very collaborative and wanted it to be something that we would all feel happy about, you know? So that happened, and we had a lot of fun with that.”

Renck also reveals that after Bowie asked him to make a video for the finished ten minute version of Blackstar, he told him that he was gravely ill.

"He said: ‘I want to tell you this because I don’t know how much I can participate in this video, because I might not be able to be in the video for all I know'. We were in July and talking about shooting this video in September or maybe October. And I’m like… completely gutted. But at the same time, I honestly think he told me because he wanted this to be an aspect of the creation to some extent..." 

Read the full interview with Johan Renck on Nordic Playlist here

Renck's videos for David Bowie's Blackstar and Lazarus are both nominated for the Video Of The Year award at the Nordic Music Video Awards, being held in Oslo tomorrow (May 21st), with Blackstar nominated for three other awards. The full list of nominations are here.

David Knight - 20th May 2016

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