Emerging forces in Ottawa’s creative scene, hip-hop artist Lindasson and videographer Ben Telford make music video magic

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Lindasson entrusted the fate of his first music video to a child prodigy with a camera, whose work with others on the Ottawa hip-hop scene had impressed him enough to request a video of Ben Telford.

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It was still the early days of his expansion from beat producer and sound engineer to making his own music, and once Telford signaled his willingness to consider working on a video for one of his songs , Lindasson sent more than three and invited him to choose the one he liked the most.

He wanted Telford to feel genuine enthusiasm for the project and if none of the songs hit the bar, Lindasson recalled, he was ready to come back after a while with three new options.

Luckily, “it didn’t turn out that way,” Lindasson, 26, said. Telford wrote back and said he loved them all. “I was like oh sh––t. This is a good thing.”

And so the first “Eighties” music video was born, with Telford’s direction, camerawork and editing bringing visual life to a melodic piece of hip-hop that speaks – like much of Lindasson’s work. – realities that he or his entourage have known. It dropped on YouTube in October 2020 and was the first of many video collaborations between Lindasson (Shymar Brewster, in his personal life) and 21-year-old Telford. The two self-taught Ottawa creatives, hip-hop artist and video production entrepreneur share a quiet but intense drive and passion for their respective crafts, and a belief in Ottawa’s creative potential, as well as the talents of others who are leading the way. they are.

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It’s a philosophy captured in their most recent collaboration – a new music video for an “Eighties” remix, featuring hip-hop artist TwoTiime. He’s another young talent from Ottawa, whom Lindasson first got to know through mutual friends and the world of music they were both learning to navigate. After remixing the song with a new verse by TwoTiime, the two artists contacted Telford for the visuals.

Eighties: The Remix is ​​the latest collaboration between Lindasson and Ben Telford, featuring new vocals from Ottawa rapper TwoTiime
Eighties: The Remix is ​​the latest collaboration between Lindasson and Ben Telford, featuring new vocals from Ottawa rapper TwoTiime Photo by Javier Garcia /.jpg

Like the original, the ’80s remix clip pays homage to the Caldwell neighborhood where Lindasson grew up, but this time the central setting is a basketball court in the community gymnasium. It’s a visual that came to him right away, Telford said, inspired by the song’s retro elements, Lindasson’s basketball experience — he got a full scholarship to play college basketball at the United States, disturbed by a family tragedy – and a scene from sports film Coach Carter. Telford’s approach to music videos is sharp and cinematic; he considers Martin Scorsese his greatest cinematic inspiration.

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“Eighties,” the remix, was released earlier this month on Ben Telford Visuals’ YouTube channel.

Telford has run his own production company for more than four years — so far it’s a one-man show — doing music videos, commercial and documentary work, with a portfolio that includes promotional advertising for Farah Jacques, athlete Olympic Games based in Gatineau. and episodes of “The Overbrook Show,” created by former professional basketball player Manock Lual.

Cameras have always been a fascination for Telford, and he has been shooting video for at least half his life. From quitting animation to filming his Lego characters as a kid, “It was kind of the only hobby or phase I never grew out of growing up.”

His training in the craft came from YouTube tutorials and trial and error, and he dropped out of studying human kinetics at the University of Ottawa to pursue his passion. After more than two years working full-time for himself in video production, “I still work like a dog, but it’s more just because I love what I do and want to go as far as I can. . possible,” Telford said. It’s that seriousness he sees in the way Lindasson and TwoTiime approach their music, and it’s one of the reasons he’s collaborated with them on several occasions, as well as the fact that his best work is usually with people he has fun with.

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Appreciation goes both ways. Lindasson, who plans to release a new album project later this year, said working together has grown into a friendship and collaborating with Telford has been humbling. “He’s got massive passion, this guy, he’s a hard worker.”

Of his burgeoning success as a visual creator in the world of hip-hop, Telford says it’s partly a reflection of his personal taste in music, as a huge fan of the genre. He’s also found that working on a project leads to outreach to other hip-hop artists, and he’s happy to continue creating content in that direction, but says he’s open to working on all kinds of music. .

With the ‘Eighties’ remix video, one of Telford’s hopes was to catch the attention of viewers beyond the capital ‘or even people inside the city who really don’t take certain parts of the Ottawa music scene.

“There is so much talent in the city… only a few really come to light. And I think the more we showcase these people who are trying to share their talents and make them sustainable and profitable, the more we do, the richer the music culture will become.

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