PHFAT, enfant terrible of South African electronic rap and stalwart of the local industry, has emerged from a pandemic-induced hiatus to release “Whatever You Like”, the latest in a set of anthological tracks about love and relationships.
The track also marks a collaborative first between PHFAT and friend and director Paul Ward (a commercial director whose clients include Puma and Sanlam). Ward conceptualized and directed the song’s music video, which also comes out on the same date.
Looming, hopeful and darkly serenading, “Whatever You Like” is a rumination on the totality of falling in love, and its oscillations between bliss and apprehension, or as the artist notes, that feeling of “oh dear, this might be inconvenient at some point.”
PHFAT (real name Mike Zietsman), reflects on the concept behind the track: “At this stage of my life, I’ve found that love lands with a more complex set of emotions than some of the idealization that characterised love in my
early twenties. Love also arrives with a set of responsibilities, with sacrifice and compromise, with the possibility of devastating rejection and pain. Falling in love responsibly really does take a certain type of courage because the stakes are higher. I think the content and tone of this track manage to capture a lot of that, and I’m proud of that.”
Of the music video, which comes to life under the stewardship of 21-year-old producer Hana Jayne Sho, Ward says: “With this film, I wanted to take the viewer on an abstract journey through the rollercoaster of emotions of
love. The dark, beautiful honest reality of love. I didn’t want to tell the viewer how to feel, to leave it open for interpretation. Everybody has their own personal emotions that resonate around love, and with this highly-visual film, we didn’t want the viewer to think. We wanted them to feel.”
The song was written and produced by Zietsman and composer Greg Abrahams (The Sound Foundry), at the beginning of this year. The duo expects to release a series of tracks together throughout 2021.
The launch of “Whatever You Like” comes just weeks after South Africa moves out from Level 2 of the country’s lockdown regulations, which prohibited live performances with over 50 attendees, sending the concert industry into a six-month stagnation.
Of the track and his time away from the stage, Zietsman says “creating in isolation was incredibly difficult for me, and has largely been an act of discipline while keeping some type of lockdown-induced OCD under control, and feeling like an underwatered houseplant. I’ve had to completely rethink how I write songs.”
Watch the full video for ‘Whatever You Like’ below and purchase your copy, right here.
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