by: Mitchell Rose
by: Mitchell Rose
Oct 14, 2020
Following up his 2020 summertime anthem “Touch,” Big Wild returns, this time with a statement to make. His new single “Who Do You Believe” touches on our worsening divisiveness caused by mass media, false narratives, and misinformation. The video features Jackson Stell (a.k.a. Big Wild) as a media manipulator firmly in control until the screen drops away. The director, Erin Galey, shares her thoughts on the video:
The video asks us to consider who’s creating the narrative in today’s world, and whether we can (or should) attempt to control one another’s experiences or thoughts. I hope this piece inspires viewers towards open-minded discussions with their community, and maybe even a new community outside their comfort zone
The track itself is a skillful blend of psychedelic rock and electronic music with piercing vocals arriving at its climax. His multi-faceted skillset is well documented, but “Who Do You Believe” is certainly a resume booster, even for him. Surrounding the release of his new single, Dancing Astronaut caught up with Big Wild to discuss the inspiration for the track, blend of psychedelic and electronic, and how to navigate the modern media landscape.
You make a clear statement on the divisiveness of modern media throughout your new video. You even made it a point for the video to end with “welcome to the world of technology,” what do you hope people take away from the video?
The hope is that the song serves as a starting point for people to take a look at where we’re at as a nation, and how in a certain sense, we’re all complicit in this self-aggrandizing culture. Then, the hope is to take that realization and grow from it, to arrive at a place where we’re thinking critically for ourselves and not just blindly consuming (and believing) what the media and people/positions of power are stating as “truth.” We need to do our own due diligence and decipher fact vs. fiction, as well as respect each other as people in this politically charged time.
“Who Do You Believe” prominently features psychedelic influence throughout, what do you think is the overlap between psychedelic rock and electronic music?
Both styles of music focus on “the journey” and teleporting the listener somewhere else. Through sounds and arrangement, we can trigger the imagination and create the experience of going somewhere. Both genres have a lot to learn from each other and can borrow sounds and ideas to achieve something new.
Your video for “Who Do You Believe” features some striking imagery on a very personal level, as well as a huge cathartic tone shift when the screen drops away. What inspired you to make such a charged video and track right now?
The track itself was born out of a need to reconcile my own thoughts on the societal implications we’re all facing right now. Living in Portland especially, with the wildfires and the Antifa rumors surrounding them and the (false) narrative that it’s a wildly anarchist state, I’ve been seeing firsthand the effects of misinformation and I wanted to make sense of that, to speak my own truth in what I’m seeing in a sea of narratives and agendas. The track being a commentary on modern media and the corruption of it all, it felt like it needed a visual element to really represent what we’re experiencing and seeing all around us, to drive the message home.
The current media landscape is rife with issues, yet many of us are relying more and more on it to connect with one another as people remaining staying home to stay safe. How do you reconcile the consequences, positive and negative, of our increased reliance on screens to communicate with each other?
I don’t think screens are going away anytime soon, and ironically the tools and apps used to “connect us” make us feel more separate, divided, and lonely. I think every time we interact with our phone, especially on social media, we need to have a higher level of self-awareness. This involves reading beyond just the outrageous headline of a story, not engaging with trolls, and paying attention to how you feel while you’re engaged. Also, much of the time spent on screens isn’t really connecting, but rather is distracting. So part of self-awareness is learning how to be efficient with your time and not going down a misinformation wormhole.
Do you have any tips for people as they try to navigate our digital age?
Something I myself am trying to do, and advocate for, is to really check my sources for news and media. Anyone can say anything, and there are no systems of checks and balances when it comes to fact-checking statements being propagated on social media, nor in the mainstream media these days. So the weight is on our shoulders now to research where our information is coming from, to verify it against multiple sources and to really look at it from a critical place, asking who’s involved or who the stakeholders are in each piece of news we’re consuming. Also, when you’re communicating with people, don’t be a dick.
Do you have any closing thoughts?
I hope everyone is doing ok out there and that you can connect with “Who Do You Believe” in some way. I want to thank Shameem Jamil, Daniel Sanford, and Erin Galey for helping bring the concept and music video together.
Featured image: “Who Do You Believe” Official Video
Categories: Features, Videos