A note from the artist:
“Ghost” is one of the darkest songs I’ve ever made, and I really wanted that eeriness and haunting feeling to come through with the visuals. Chebeni and I had known each other through mutual friends in Nairobi and I’d always admired his work and the ways in which his ability to uniquely capture a mood was so distinct in his music video work that no one could replicate his style. With “Ghost” we tried to bring a lot of the layered emotions in the song through either characters and symbols – creating a distinct world for the song to fill that could leave the audience with some room to ask questions / fill in the gaps with their own interpretations.
A note from the director, Chebeni:
When I first heard “Ghost” by mau, I knew it was a song that I had to visually interpret. The lack of an intro and jumping straight into the first verse immediately caught my eye. The combination of rapping and singing, along with the introspective lyrics, drew me in and made me fall in love with the track. To me, the ghosts in the video represented anxiety and how it can overtake things I enjoy, from art to positive thoughts and aspirations. I wanted to create a video concept that could be open to interpretation, much like how the audio impacted me personally.
Inspiration for the first scene came from a sculpture by Paul Kos. Scene two was inspired by the work of photographer David Brandon Greeting and the backdrops he used. The third scene in the field drew inspiration from “Le Bonheur” by Agnes Verde. The painting of the backdrop was inspired by a painter friend who always crosses out her work with a big red X when she doesn’t feel proud of the finished art. The ghosts are inspired by “Never Change” by Obonjayar. The final scene by the fire was thought up by Mau and I based on the lyrics. It felt like a conversation he was having with himself, inspiring two versions of Mau in the scene.