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Jords ft Lil Sykes 'Drill Vs Grime' by Sau Ali

Rob Ulitski - 14th Mar 2023

Two music genres battle for supremacy in Sau Ali's stylish yet gritty promo for Jords and Lil Sykes' Drill Vs Grime. 

The narrative follows the artists as they enter an abstract simulation, in which the two genres go head-to-head in a high-energy showdown.

Sau Ali recreates a street environment, in which both types of music emerged, in a studio environment - a rather brilliant move. It was also shot by DoP Henry Gill on black and white 16mm film - Kodak Double-x 7222 - that adds another layer of texture to the visual. 

"The track is militant and explosive. I wanted to complement that by exploring the iconography of the two genres," says Sau Ali. "The ‘Street Monolith’ (concrete wall) that Jords & Lil Sykes stand either side of; the huge speaker cone that pulsates above it; and the severed island street scenes... they all speak to these British genres’ cultural kinship and shared DNA.

"I wanted to create an experience that emphasised the retrospective theme but leaned towards a surreal tone to match the abstract narrative. DoP Henry Gill bought that to life. Shooting on 16mm and heading down a moody and nocturnal direction that I wanted the world to exist in.

"Production designer Jade Adeyemi essentially created the entire world. I wanted everything to look like we’d lifted it from real places. Jade understood and accomplished that beautifully.

"I worked closely on this concept with talented VFX artist Lee Delves before the job was even commissioned. We wanted to achieve an exaggerated visual that still maintained its authenticity. The ‘Genre Morphing’ shot (Jords & Lil Sykes standing on either side of the street monolith) was intended to be achieved ‘in camera’ but budget limitations meant Lee was tasked with creating the shot in post - which actually accomplished the otherworldly sentiment that I was looking for, and is an example of how limitations can lead to great creative solutions in a music video."

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Rob Ulitski - 14th Mar 2023


  • Grime
  • drill
  • Showdown
  • Head to Head
  • Performance
  • black and white
  • 16mm
  • Abstract

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Sau Ali
Micheal Newton
Production Company
Executive Producer
Simon Oxley
Executive Producer
Micheal Newton
Production Manager
Georgia Rae Sterling-grant
1st AD
Danny Rumbelow
2nd AD
Harish Vyas, Runner


Director of Photography
Henry Gill
Focus Puller
Harry Coleman
2nd AC
Gordon Wong
Film Stock
Jib Op
Jack Davies, Jib Tech


Conrad Russell
Gian Calipa, Spark


Production designer
Jade Adeyemi
Arts Best Girl
Leelah Mcevoy Prop Buyer


Sau Ali


Colour Producer
Andrew Patrick
Daniela Rotaru
Colour grade company
Glassworks London


Benson Udia
EMI Records

Rob Ulitski - 14th Mar 2023

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