User Accounts

Michael Kiwanuka 'You Ain’t The Problem' by Leonn Ward

Ned Botwood - 17th Sept 2019

Leonn Ward directs this anthemic pastoral, a hymn to self-acceptance and the healing power of the countryside. It’s a rapturous new beginning for Michael Kiwanuka.

In You Ain’t the Problem, Kiwanuka recounts a hard-won lesson: it’s not you, it’s them. And in his first solo clip since 2017’s totemic Cold Little Heart, Kiwanuka celebrates that lesson. He communes with a group of revellers in the fields and halls of English farmland.

Irish director Leonn Ward makes a compelling case for herself as music videos’ premier Romantic. She has a painter’s eye for colour and beauty, and the ability to draw intensely felt performances out of her collaborators: I challenge you not to be moved by Joy Crooke’s tearful lament in Since I Left You

Her style is a lush minimalism. She and Deepa Keshvala, DoP and regular collaborator, render these pastoral settings with a theatrical simplicity that foregrounds the joy of her characters. These landscapes are depicted as a gorgeous playground. You’ll see just wheat and sky, a curtain or a wall, and an effervescent gang of people.

Ward also shows off her credentials as a fashion photographer. The styling by Ola Ebiti, a kind of contempory, light-touch Pre-Raphaelitism, is essential to this balance: her subjects are dressed in vibrant primaries, and as they move, they pass through the frame like running washes of colour. For this, we can also thank Jack Mcginity, the award-winning colourist behind ASOS's toybox-toned Go Play campaign.

Featured sponsors

Ned Botwood - 17th Sept 2019

Tags

  • Dance
  • Pick of the Day
  • Performance
  • Northern Soul
  • Indie

Popular content

Feedback

Problem with this page? Let us know

Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Leonn Ward
Producer
Holly Wolfers
Production Company
Executive Producer
Martin Roker
1st AD
Bryony James

Camera

Director of Photography
Deepa Keshvala
Focus Puller
Michael Hannides

Wardrobe

Wardrobe
Ola Ebiti
Hair
Afi Attipoe
Make-up
Theresa Davies

Editorial

Editor
Elise Butt

Grading

Colourist
Jack McGinity
Colour grade company

VFX

Post production company
Trim Editing
Post Producer
Polly Kemp
Post Producer
Olivia Jessop

Commission

Commissioner
Emily Tedrake
Label
Polydor

Other credits

Production Assistant

Milly Stell

Directors’ Assistant

Stephanie Okoye

Ned Botwood - 17th Sept 2019

Related Content

Industry News