The Devil works hard, but Lauzza works harder.
As one of the most talented and esteemed up and coming directors in London, Lauzza is the man behind some of the best music videos that have dropped over the past few years. Working with the likes of Pinkpantheress, Ashbeck, dexter, Oscar #Worldpeace among many others, his philosophy of working with his friends whilst doing what he loves has certainly held him in good stead.
Whilst maintaining his anonymity (you won’t find a picture of Lauzza’s face anywhere online, trust me I’ve tried), he has managed to stamp his mark all over London’s creative landscape. Some have dubbed him the ‘Scorcese of the Scene’, and it’s easy to see why; with his beautifully shot videos, immaculate attention to detail and a relentless work ethic, his music videos have become the gold standard. If you’re an emerging artist, having Lauzza direct your music video has become the ultimate badge of honour.
We caught up with Lauzza for an exclusive interview;
Lauzza, what an amazing past year you’ve had! You’ve consistently been behind some of the best and most creative music videos that have come out. I’m sure a lot has changed for you in the past year, how’s everything been? How are you?
Thank you for the kind words man. I’m just working and learning, keeping that cycle going. Working and learning, working and learning. At the moment I would say I am definitely learning to know when to prioritize myself over my work.
You directed the music video for which was perhaps the song of 2021, Pinkpantheress’ ‘Just For Me’, I know that you two are old friends, so that must have been an amazing experience. Having started your career with a very DIY approach to now working on these huge projects, how has that transition been? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced working on this bigger scale?
That was the craziest experience. I’d probably say it was the best day of my life, so I’m eternally grateful for it. However, I still work on smaller budget projects at the moment, that was really the only big budget production that I’ve worked on so far. More time, I turn down the big ones because the priority for me is working with my friends and this great circular community that we’ve got. I also always want to make sure that the track and concept feel right, in my gut.
A huge thing for me at the moment is building out the LAUZZA channel as an exciting new platform. I think a long term vision is better than a quick buck. Just over a year ago, I was self-shooting and editing my own stuff. I would say that it has taken an adjustment, but this definitely feels like the right path. I’ve learnt collaboration is such a beautiful and mutual partnership where both parties can gain so much.
The old esc plan videos are amazing, they’re very nostalgic and youthful. At that age, the concept of escaping your surroundings is a very powerful one. I feel like the internet has enabled creatives to come together in a way that simply wasn’t possible before. Could you talk a bit more about the concept behind esc, and where you see it going in the future?
There’s actually no concept behind the name. We’re just really good friends. I’ve known these guys for years. I went to school with kwes e , and we all started our creative journeys together. I feel like we’ve all helped to shape each other to follow the right path. It can be so easy to stray off. I still remember the day he asked me to join it, right after I dropped my second ever music video with CMillano, which is crazy. We still have so much more to offer as a collective. We’re loading. Keep an eye out.
YT’s ‘Arc’teryx’, was a viral hit. When you made the video, did you ever imagine that a year later you would have the whole world wearing Arcy in the shower? What was that experience like?
I guess that this kind of thing is always the best possible scenario that you thought could never be possible. I could have never imagined it. I’m just glad people aren’t taking the project as a whole too seriously. People are now genuinely really messing with this new Plugg sound which it incorporated; it hasn’t been heard in the mainstream yet. That project was just some friends creating a fun music video. It’s cool that the unexpected virality came with it. Shout out YT and Jude.
The concepts behind your videos are really well thought out and you can tell that you have a very strong eye for detail. Whether it be the Magic Show concept for Oscar #WorldPeace, the MTV Cribs theme for 5EB or the Football motif for Ashbeck, you always come with something fresh. What does your process look like from start to finish?
My process is extremely careful. It’s something I’ve been molding and developing for years now. Having said that though, it is always changing depending on my surroundings, scale of production and overall creative mindset. People will always try and copy it, but you can’t learn this stuff in formal education. As easy as it would be to mindlessly follow the usual treatment, script, shot list, edit process – no video is ever the same. But, one thing I do remain conscious of, is not to rely heavily on these concepts to sell the video.
I’ve been on set with you before, and there is so much that goes on behind the scenes. How do you go about building a team for a shoot, and what do you set out to achieve as a director on a shoot?
I don’t think any casual viewer would understand what goes into a video, which is fair enough. Behind the scenes it is a very demanding process. But, if you do your job right, no one will ever know. That’s kind of beautiful. I think that finding the right crew for each video is so, so important.
You’re letting each person control a certain aspect of your own passion project and creative vision, so there are huge elements of trust and respect at play. If myself and a said crew member are putting our all into the project, I’d like to also consider what they gain from the project too. But yeah, I don’t know where I’d be without Jude Swan and Oniqur Rahmen, two incredible producers. These are the real heroes who coordinate the projects and see them through to fruition, they deserve more credit.
Are you into cinema or TV? If so, what films and TV shows inspire your work and why?
I feel like I’m always making films rather than watching them. But that is definitely something I’d like to work on. I’m a huge Dragonball Z and Star Wars fan. Bit basic. My favourite film ever has to be 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’ve never had such an existential confusion or crisis, if you want to call it that, after watching something before that experience.
It’s so inspiring that those pixels on a screen were able to have such an impact on me as a person, as a human being. Technically and creatively, I also take huge inspiration from how Wes Anderson and Robert Yeoman effectively reinvented cinematography. That’s definitely something I’d like to achieve in my career.
Do you ever see yourself doing visuals other than music videos? Why?
Right now I’m content with music videos. I’d consider myself more as a music fan, rather than a film fan, if that makes sense. To be honest it’s just cold that I am able to combine two of my favourite interests. I guess it would be cool to direct a feature, in the far future. But right now it’s not something that excites me necessarily. Maybe I’m just waiting for something worthwhile to say, with the right story and message.
London is a very exciting place to be if you are a young creative at the moment. Whether it be artists, photographers or clothing designers. What other young creatives/movements in London have excited you recently?
It’s such a crazy thought to me that some of the most exciting art is coming from my friends! Special shoutout to kwes for dropping vowels 3 and phil for releasing BLACK DOG. Genuinely, no one is doing it like them. It’s real artistry.
Outside of directing, what other things do you get up to? If you weren’t making videos, what do you think you would be doing?
Not gonna lie, I’ve devoted my life to this shit. I don’t really care for much else. People might say I’ve put all my eggs into one basket, but as my friend Jim Legxacy once said, ‘If you’re a pioneer, you have to take it all the way or someone else will’.
Every creative has to deal with self-doubt and uncertainty at some point. What advice would you give to creatives to better deal with these kinds of challenges?
This one hit me hard recently. It happens to everyone. I might not be the best person to ask as I go through it very frequently. I would say try to take a break and look at the bigger picture. Remember why you started doing it. I find that if you’re in a position to be able to do that, it always helps immensely.
I’m actually about to take a break for the first time in my career, as I’ve just been constantly working since I started. Last time I was abroad I was fully just editing a music video. I hope it works man, because burnout is real. Although, hard work really does reap rewards. It’s as simple as that. Even though we’ve heard it all before, it’s true as hell.
I’m sure you’ve got loads of exciting stuff in the pipeline, what’s on the horizon for you now?
The LAUZZA channel. I’m focused on building a cohesive discography all on one platform, which shines a light not only on great music, but also on great videos. I’ve got so much up my sleeve. I can’t wait to share it.
Finally, you’re reading back to this article in 10 years time. What do you want to say to the Lauzza of 2032?
I hope that the future me is living off this shit, impacting the world positively and having fun doing so.
Why spend your time doing anything else?
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