updated: Aug 5, 2021
August 5, 2021 (Newswire.com) –
In September 2020, Glendal Tautua released his debut album Bonnie In Greenwood with OTOW Records that blended R&B, hip-hop, and the traditional Samoan music that Tautua grew up with. Westside Seattle praised its “intricately arranged, multi-part harmonies, interspersed with rap.” Now Tautua has returned with a new music video for his B.I.G. single “Woah,” remixed with a feature from Seattle Rapper Khingz.
The video opens in a church, and Christian themes permeate throughout, but there’s no heavy-handed religious moralizing. Instead, the faith-based elements act as a contrast to the video’s other scenes. We see people gambling on a city street, customers in a convenience store, and two children fighting over a gun, with tragic consequences.
The music video directed by Harry Clean & the Manzano Brothers is filmed in White Center (Seattle, WA). The location choice is deeply personal. Tautua grew up in White Center and retains strong connections there. The music video could be seen as a melancholy love letter to the area, with special resonance for fellow White Center residents.
White Center isn’t the only grounding influence in Tautua’s music. He draws inspiration from his Samoan heritage as well. “In the Samoan culture, we tell stories,” he says. “Our history and traditions are passed down orally. We take pride in our descriptive and beautiful language, and I too wanted to tell stories. My story.”
Tautua describes his childhood as “rough.” His family struggled against poverty. In 2006, his two brothers were killed in gun violence, and the scenes of two young boys squabbling over a gun evoke this tragedy. In keeping with the somber tone of the song, the music video is dedicated to Tautua’s deceased brothers.
A series of high-profile shootings in the early months of 2021 reignited discussions about gun violence. These discussions were especially relevant to White Center and other cities in Washington’s King County, where gun violence spiked during 2020.
Tautua’s “Woah” doesn’t deliver platitudes about gun violence or simplistic political messages. The lyrics refer to “the shot that killed my brother,” but the song doesn’t dwell on it, just as it doesn’t dwell on the Christian imagery. The song and music video go deeper, addressing the subtler aspects of growing up in a rough neighborhood, like the kids who “dream of visas and a passport” that would allow them to escape their surroundings.
“Woah” reminds viewers of the ripple effects of tragedy: the family members lost, the young lives cut short, the lingering effects of grief. Rap is often characterized by swagger and bravado, but Tautua takes the genre in a different direction. In “Woah,” he blends rap with soul to create a musical vehicle for self-expression.
From the depiction of White Center in the music video to the backing of OTOW Records, Glendal Tautua’s “Woah” is a true piece of Seattle culture. It represents another step forward for the talented young artist.
Source: OTOW Records