Afros and bell bottoms, swirling hips and dim-lit discos. Is this New York City in the '70s? No, it's Johannesburg in 2017, although, Major Lazer's "Particula" music video does fancy itself a flash back into a more perfect historical time. Directed by South African filmmaker Adriaan Luow, "Particula" offers an alternative view on a culture Americans don't often experience.
It's a sensible treatment, because "Particula" is all about African influence. From the Know No Better EP, it features South African artists Nasty C and DJ Maphorisa alongside Nigerian rapper Ice Prince, and Nigerian-American artist Jidenna.
“I've always wanted to shoot a film like this in Johannesburg,” Louw is quoted in a press release. “It was creating an ideal world within Joburg that was based in the 70s. I wanted it to feel like we were shooting a documentary in the of the culture that could have been in a city where disco, funk and Fela Kuti were everywhere. We worked with some great artists who featured on the track — Jidenna flew in all the way from the States and Ice Prince came down from Nigeria. Was also my first time working with fellow South Africans Nasty C and DJ Maphorisa. Thanks to Word. Africa, Elene Du Toit, Allison Swank, Major Lazer and the whole crew for bringing this all to life.”
It's still chock-full of Caribbean flavor. You can take Major Lazer out of the islands, but you can't take the islands out of Major Lazer. It's a fun clip guaranteed to get you dancing (and singing in an accent). Watch "Particula" below.