As you’d expect from one of Amsterdam’s most prominent producers, SIROJ’s most recent offering is not only slick and charismatic but also presents much-needed questions on themes of love and diversity. Inundated from an early age with sounds of the 70s and 80s, and since co-producing tracks for artists including DJ Mustard, Ty Dolla $ign and Tyga, among others, new projects and releases are not to be missed. Breaking his artistic silence as SIROJ, the DJ-slash-producer finally dropped his long-awaited single last week. Glamcult is proud to premiere the accompanying video today—a touching piece by Yavez Anthonio—and spoke to both artists.
The video and music for Traction develop themes concerning the fundamental importance and diversity of love. How important are these issues to you and how far have they influenced your music?
SIROJ: To me those issues are really important in the sense that diversity in love is super normal—especially in music and club life. I wouldn’t say it has influenced my music, only that I want my music to be for everybody.
On the subject of diversity, your career not only entails being a DJ but also a musician, producer and composer. How does this versatility affect your overall output and tracks?
SIROJ: Well, for example, I haven’t released any music as SIROJ in the last year. That’s quite a long time for a producer. But I’ve done tons of projects for other artists and brands, and had a really busy summer with a lot of festivals. It affects the output for my own career but I don’t care about that, really. I love to work on super diverse projects. Whether it’s working on my next EP or composing music for some high-end fashion designer’s new campaign.
Beyond the music itself, the video for Traction is incredibly powerful in presenting the themes developed in the track. Were you pleased with and surprised by the overall outcome?
SIROJ: I was super pleased! We only had this small idea written down on paper and then Yavez went to New York to execute it—and it turned out to be super cool. It was such a good vibe, so we also used the two main characters on the artwork.
Was the use of Yavez’ talent important to you and the outcome of the video?
SIROJ: Yes. Yavez really made this video. He shot, directed and edited it. It’s his work and artistic vision.
What artists are you currently listening to?
SIROJ: I listen to a bunch of artists. I really like Kelela’s new record, Burna Boy, Kali Uchis, Kingdom, MC Pedrinho. Again, diversity!
Yavez, where did your ideas for the Traction video come from? Were the lyrics the main influence or were there other themes you had the opportunity to develop?
Yavez: The idea came from the thought of what it would be like when two guys are in love with each other in an environment where they don’t feel that’s ‘accepted’. Do they just hang out like best friends? Do they show their affection publicly? These were questions that inspired me to write this story.
How was the experience of working with such freedom on the music video?
Yavez: This is the first music video I’ve ever directed so it was an honour for me that SIROJ trusted my vision for this project. Working on this project with the freedom that I had, and the people involved, was really motivating and a lot of fun. It gave me the opportunity to work with my buddy Jared Martell, who did the styling and casting.
The lyrics of the song regard love, becoming closer with someone and the complexities that involves. What influenced your choice of context and direction within this video?
Yavez: The lyrics influenced me to come up with a complex love story of two guys that at first sight hang out and run around the city like best friends, but as the day proceeds we see them becoming closer—and the complexities that comes with that. It was really important to me that the connection between the two friends was natural and fun but also a bit awkward at times.
Who was your main artistic inspiration?
Yavez: No one in particular. My main inspiration was the song and the energy of New York.