Dave Dayes and Peter Misch
Joshua, this is such an insightful too-short-a-film into Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes’ collaboration on their new album What Kinda Music. What triggered the decision to make this documentary?
Since last year there had always been discussions between the artists and management of making a documentary for the album. This was such a unique project, I think it just made a lot of sense to capture it.
I’ve worked with Tom directly for over five years now, starting with his early press shots to music promos and so we’ve built a strong working relationship over the years. I was approached to direct the short documentary and as soon as I heard the music, I jumped on board right away.
Please tell us about the process of creating the film in the way you did.
I was given full creative control which I realise is a rarity so I felt very lucky. I listened to the album and came away buzzing, the sound was so cinematic, to create an informative film that would complement the music and tell their story was my intention.
I wanted to make a film for the fans, so I aimed to create an abstract world that celebrated the music as the main focus, with scenes that flow naturally together as selected tracks from the album play out.
I listened to the record over and over and specific ideas would jump out to me which I’d jot down. These ideas would develop more and more based off the sound and then later I began piecing them together to build the a narrative that felt right for this album.
Tom & Yussef are also both from South London so I saw this as an opportunity to pay homage for the closing of the film. We created a photo montage that flashes up location shots relevant to the boys but that also featured old portraits I had taken in South London over the years.
Did you sift through miles of footage to edit together? Is that really both their fathers in the back of the roller? Or did I misread that!
No I didn’t actually as we had shot everything on 35mm on a very tight budget! We had to be very cautious with what we were shooting but I really enjoyed the process. As a photographer I only tend to shoot on analogue and I have been waiting for the opportunity to shoot on film with moving image for a long time, so that made this project even more special for me.
Yes that’s Tom & Yussef’s fathers! They both had a big musical influence on their boys while growing up, so it was important for me to include them in the film somehow. Being chauffeured around Bermondsey in a Rolls Royce seemed appropriate.
Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes
You also captured Tom Misch with De La Soul performing It Runs Through Me, in an earlier beautiful unpretentious film with a colour grade and camera pace that matches the jazz. How would you sum up the creative chemistry between you?
I’d describe it as a very natural and effortless relationship. We’re quite different people but there’s a lot of trust between us and we always seem to be on the same page with creative decisions. Music has a massive influence on my work and so it’s a pleasure to collaborate with such a talented musician. I’d like to think Tom sees it in the same way, in that I can offer the right type of visuals for his music.
Trawling through the comments on YouTube people want to see more. Are you going to make another?
Not for this project but who knows what will happen in the future, I loved working with Tom & Yussef and I’d be keen to again when the time is right.
There’s such a gentle tone to your work – I’m recalling in particular Chase & Status This Moment where you captured the heart-felt nuances of a young father when it could so easily have been over dramatic.
Thank you, it’s something I’m hearing more regularly that I wasn’t too aware of before. Another common pattern that I’ve been told is the theme of ‘family’. I was brought up in a very close knit family so it makes sense that it would have an influence on my work, it feels like a subconscious approach that I have developed over the years.
How are you spending your days WFH and is there anything in particular that you’re finding inspiring to watch, read, listen to?
We were editing the documentary during the first two weeks of lockdown and since then I’ve had a lot more time to focus and pick up on personal projects. I’m currently writing my first short film which I’m really excited for, I’ve worked a lot in documentary and now feels like the right time to push myself in another field.
I found a soul track which has been giving me a lot of motivation – ‘Love Has Come Around’ by Donald Byrd
What have you discovered about yourself during lockdown?
I moved to a new area just before lockdown and since then I’ve actively gotten to know my new neighbours and local shop owners. I was thinking about it the other day and how it might be related or connected with my practise and it’s definitely motivated by people. I’m excited to see how this will change and influence my approach after lockdown.
Joshua Osborne is represented by RadicalMedia
instagram – @joshuaosborne_