The music video for ‘Forest’ by London-based rapper Alista Marq was released this month and was co-directed by Alista himself. The video begins with the song title ‘Forest’ written in strong bold font across the screen, with a view of the tops of green leafy trees waving with the breeze, from the perspective of looking upwards from the forest floor as the backdrop. This visual is accompanied by eery swooshing sounds to introduce the song and give an idea of the sound which follows.
Alista is a talented multi-vocalist and he explores this with a cool, chilled rap in the verses of the song, but singing in the chorus. He uses rhyming as an added effect to the poetic feel of the song and this adds meaning. The visuals shows mystical and symbolic forest scenes of two people happy, but the image is distorted, and their figures flash in and out of the shot, like ghostly silhouettes, almost hallucinatory, signifying memories being lost. This scene transitions occasionally to the perspective of the man recording through a camcorder, representing the original memory they are attempting to not let go of. The forest, even though green and springlike, is shadowed and dark. The light is struggling to make it through the treetops so a darker environment is created, reflecting the slightly sad, regretful tone of the story.
Throughout the video, the setting is always within the trees, in a darker area of the forest. When the camera pans upward, we see the sun fighting to get through the thick foliage cover. To me this seems symbolic of the tone of the story of a loss and the sadness of memories slipping into the past. It may be the setting of the music video – amongst nature in summer, but I felt the way I related to the emotional story and lyrics was the sadness I sometimes feel in the transition from summer to winter. Summer doesn’t last, winter comes fast and hits you with dark nights and shadows. Memories created during a happy time fade, and this video brought out a sense of nostalgia in me, particularly with editing to make some shots appear dream-like. It’s extremely powerful when a music video can bring out emotions in individuals, so massive credits to Alista Marq and his team for enabling that to happen.