We couldn’t resist catching up with the talented Hafedh Al Harthy, an Omani director who beautifully executed a narrative with a very important message, alongside fellow artist Ali Al Sharji and musician Ghazi Al Balucci. Performed by local musicians Ziad Gadou featuring Emaan Al Zadjali and Ghazi Al Balucci.
What a music video, Hafedh! What is the concept about?
Thank you. The concept depicts a committed relationship where doubt and suspicion are internalised within the two main characters towards each other, but is not communicated directly after the letters are sent at the start of the video.
This was contextualised in a classical Omani setting, which creates an entertaining contrast with the modern aspect of the song in terms of language (English) and the experimental nature of the music (Western).
What inspired you to direct this particular music video?
I watch a lot of movies, including the drama romantic genre. Love is a feeling that is very relatable to all backgrounds but not necessarily heavily portrayed by Omani filmmakers to a realistic extent. It excited me to try something completely new to the local and regional scene.
What about the art direction, what did you draw your influences and references?
Inspired mainly by the traditional Omani setting. It’s beauty and simplicity of colour that posses a very nature-dependent charisma. A social harmony was very much present in old Oman that is not as present or felt in today’s Oman. This greatly influenced the way we chose the warm and vibrant colours in some of the shots. Our stylist Maher Abdulwahab also uses these colours in the Omani traditional clothing to reemphasise that notion.
The location where you filmed the music video was absolutely brilliant. Where was it shot?
It was shot in Nakhal. We immediately wanted to shoot there, so we searched for houses that fit our narrative. Through some friends, we managed to get a hold of a house owner who was gracious and welcoming enough for us to use his space to film our project.
What message did you want to convey or deliver to your audience?
We want to encourage Omani creatives to shoot. To dare and take risks as filmmakers in using interesting ideas and locations. We encourage them to fail repeatedly until they succeed. We encourage non-Omanis to see Oman as a colourful canvas in which they can portray their artwork. A community of artists from mixed and local backgrounds can learn from each other and achieve wonders. They have to believe and trust in one another and in the message they are trying to convey.
I also encourage creative minds to challenge the narrative, take chances and understand how unique the Omani industry can potentially be. Let’s not wait for anyone to do it for us. Let’s do it ourselves!