MANILA GREY is whipping up a storm with their latest piece "1z". The Vancouver hometown heroes represent the nearby suburb Richmond, British Columbia, the duo made up of singer Soliven and rapper Neeko Francisco. Utilizing cultural tropes and boasting a heavy neo-noir aesthetic, the group properly merge Asian themes and modern trends in their hip hop output, sonically and visually. It's not only the silky 808's and smooth lyricism which cite the duo as hip-hop renegades, what grasps audiences attention is MANILA GREY's cohesive aesthetic. Through cinematography, samples in their tracks and photography, MANILA GREY extract their inspirations from urban settings as well as familiar sentiments. Their attention to detail infuses a dynamism in their craft, allowing us to see MANILA GREY as more than musical concepts but as a futuristic mirroring of cultural nostalgia.
In their latest music video for "1z", we're given a taste of urban youth in direct contact with their roots. With magentas and cyan casting shadows and the sporadic television static gracing the screen, MANILA GREY's aesthetic is clear, raw and real. Hanging out in the local Tindahan, snacking on Stik-O and Pocky, sipping on Mango nectar (nectar, not juice) with the OG homies, the video is packed with a handful of things Filipinos are all too familiar with. And though the lyrics aren't in direct correlation with the music video, they speak about their trusted "1z", emphasizing bonds and friendship. In conclusion, the video is an artful piece and is a saturation of many cultural remnants from our pasts. MANILA GREY's sharp lines and dark beats are the perfect contrast to childhood memories found in the video. With this visual project, we can only expect more thoughtful concepts from the MANILA GREY, who seem to be dedicated to leaving a lasting impression on audiences.