A video worth a thousand words

Coronavirus may have taken over South Florida, but it hasn’t stopped the release of music. Love & Hip Hop: Miami star and R&B/soul singer Papii Rosë came out this month with the music video “Soul Fruit.” The vintage, rose-tinted piece was shot at Matheson Hammock Park before the shutdown with the help of a couple of Miamians.

Rosë is known as the Fresh Prince of South Beach. He released the highly anticipated video for “Soul Fruit” on April 4. This lulling love spell of a track is the fourth song on his latest album “Songs About H.E.R,” a five-song EP that debuted in January. It serves as an ode to his lovers past, present and prospective.  

“Soul Fruit” boasts bedroom-worthy music you can dance, party or make love to. The song is based on experiences in his love life. 

Rosë began his music career 1 1/2 years ago. He has roughly 100 songs, but has only released five. For “Soul Fruit,” he began looking up beats on YouTube. With the help of a synthesizer, he made it a song. 

“There wasn’t really an inspiration for “Soul Fruit.” I just heard the beat off of YouTube, and that’s what came to me,” he said. “Those are the words that formulated in my mind and my mouth. That’s what I articulated and that’s what came out of me … I just thought about the experiences I’ve had and what I’ve been through with women.”

Scene from “Soul Fruit” (Courtesy of Dean Richards, director of photography)

When it came time to make the video, he knew the location had to feel like the Garden of Eden, a sacred utopia. From soft waves to greenery, Matheson Hammock Park was a natural choice. Its beauty provided endless options for each scene. 

Dean Richards was responsible for the location selection. 

 “I wanted to try out a new color palette and that park was the perfect opportunity,” he said.

Richards is a director of photography, colorist and director. He works on films and music videos, working with artist, companies and celebrities frequently. He met Rosë while on the set of the 2020 film “Bad Boys for Life.”

“I met a couple people from Georgia and I worked on “Bad Boys 3.” We became friends. A couple of months down the line they wanted me to DP a video for Rosë.”

Richards is a Miami native who’s currently attending Miami Dade College and majoring in film and television production. His friend, Shamari Bryan, directed the video. Bryan has helped in the creative process of numerous videos for major and independent artists, celebrities and companies such as Dwyane Wade, Rick Ross, Denzel Curry, Papii Rosë, New Balance, Anheuser-Busch, Common Wealth Institute and plenty more. He previously worked as assistant director on Rosë’s other music video, “Pretty Little Thing,” which was released towards the end of 2019.

“When me and Shamari heard the song, we definitely understood the tone of the video right away,” Richards said. “Within seconds I knew the scenery that would fit perfect with the concept.”

Bryan explains his thought process and the concept behind the video. 

“When Papii Rosë released his debut album “Songs About H.E.R.,” the first track that caught my ear was “Soul Fruit.” After one listen, I knew what type of concept I wanted to go for: a fairytale, Garden of Eden feel,” Bryan said. “After we found the perfect location, we went into more detail and finalized the concept of the video and the treatment.”

Meghan Goucher, a Tampa native who works as a waitress at an Italian restaurant, appeared in the video and described her experience working with Papii Rosë.

“He’s just cool people and made sure I felt comfortable with everything,” she said. “It was really an experience like no other, even just watching him in front of the camera, because we started filming some solo scenes of him first and you can see he genuinely enjoys doing what he does and is passionate about it and I personally love to see that with anyone.”

Scene from “Soul Fruit” (Courtesy of Antonietta Baladi, set designer)

“Soul Fruit” currently surpassed over 3,500 views. Growing faster in popularity compared to the video for “Pretty Little Thing.” Nothing but positive comments from the video. Putting it out during the pandemic was helpful in gaining popularity because people have had more time to watch it and check out Rosë’s other work.

It wasn’t easy obtaining the proper permits during the coronavirus era. They lacked a video permit, preventing them from bring all of their equipment, and thus having to pack lightly. Eventually, authorities helped out just before county parks were shut down. Ever since then, things have changed. 

Bryan addressed the issues he has due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

“I went from working on some type of filming project every day to my whole world coming to a complete stop. It felt like I was a speeding car and the coronavirus was a brick wall and I drove right into it. I also had numerous upcoming projects planned here in South Florida and abroad and now I am going back to the drawing board and trying to salvage what projects I can.” 

“The corona outbreak has slowed down my freelance shooting a lot,” Richards added. “Trying to stay in isolation to help make the planet get better. I want things get better soon so I can get the ball rolling again.”  

Richards still has work lined up.

“I’m glad to say I went into quarantine on a high note. The last gig I had was for a Billie Eilish biopic. I honestly cannot wait for the adventure to continue.” 

Although this pandemic is serious and stressful, why not relax with this music video?

Racquel Lewis is a Miami native who enjoys botany, comedy, theatre, and culinary arts. She is currently an assistant editor at South Florida Media Network while also attending Florida International University as a Broadcast Media major. Her goals are to have her own show and to get an Emmy.