Officially released on October 11, 2017, “Slow Flow” is the latest music video released by Yvng Pluto. Yvng Pluto is the stage name for Isaiah Horton, an Ithaca College junior from New York City. Peter Champelli, an Ithaca College sophomore, filmed and edited the vibrantly colored video.
Cameron Coughlin, a member of the MegsRadio promotions team, spoke to Yvng Pluto and Champelli about their new video.
Q&A: Yvng Pluto, the rapper behind “Slow Flow.”
Cameron Coughlin: Who are some artists that you’re inspired by and what impact have they had on you/your songs?
Yvng Pluto (Isaiah Horton): I really love the work of MF Doom, he is my favorite rapper because of his continually innovative style and approach to music throughout the years.
CC: How did you come up with your name Yvng Pluto?
YP: I came up with the name (Yvng) Pluto because I wanted to make music for people like me, and the name seemed very fitting for me.
CC: Could you briefly describe your music-making process in general and the process of making “Slow Flow”?
YP: I create music in different ways at different times, it is widely different, even in the same album. When it came to making the video I wanted to be able to create something simple, because that is generally how I like to keep things.
CC: What is the significance of the beginning of “Slow Flow” where you talk about New York City being loud?
YP: One of A$AP Ferg’s hits starts off with a similar statement about keeping the loudness of New York. In that take, I had recently recorded another before, in which you could hear yelling from the street even through my 5th floor window.
CC: Can you talk about some common themes in your music?
YP: Well I’d like to think I have a wide range of topics but generally I want my music to focus around me and my story, because that’s the only one I can tell. I want to tell the story of a young black teen in America, but through a way that is uniquely my own.
CC: Where do you see yourself going with your music in the future?
YP: Well I’d like to go as far as I possibly can with my music, but at this point I’m letting the music decide the way.
Q&A: Peter Champelli, the Director, Cinematographer and Editor for “Slow Flow.”
Cameron Coughlin: Can you describe the music video making process for “Slow Flow”?
Peter Champelli: I reached out to Isaiah because I liked his music and was looking to make a video. He sent me four tracks to choose from. I have a specific style that I like to make videos in, and “Slow Flow” was definitely the song that fit that best fit my style. Since he’s an RA for Emerson, we met up in the week before school started in the Emerson lounge while he was making a bulletin board and talked through ideas for the video. We knew we wanted to shoot in a house with lots going on, and lots of Isaiah’s friend live in the “Alpha Heidi” house on Troy street, so we decided that was perfect.
CC: What is your favorite shot in the video?
PC: There’s this one shot of Isaiah in front of a TV, where we sped up his music to be twice as fast, and then shot it in slow-mo. This created an effect where he’s in real-time, but the people behind him are in slow-mo. This made Isaiah’s rapping look really smooth and the shot turned out super cool.
CC: What about Isaiah’s music specifically motivated you to reach out to him?
PC: First of, “Slow Flow” is a really crisp song, and I liked it a lot. But before that, I gravitated towards his attitude and the energy he brings to his songs. He brings a lot of comedy and personality to his work.
CC: What are some music videos or artists that inspire your video making process?
PC: Chance the Rapper’s videos inspired me to make colorful videos where the editing really follows the beat. In his video for “Everybody’s Something,” the graphics and editing all happen inside an outline of Chance. I saw that video four years ago and it still inspires a lot of the work I do. Also Cole Bennett (Lyrical Lemonade) makes some beautiful but all over the place videos. I take inspiration from him but still keep my own preference for organized editing.
CC: What would you like to do next in terms of making videos?
PC: I want to make a video where I can incorporate the lyrics more, maybe a video where the lyrics pop out or I make graphics having to do with them. I’ve also always wanted to make a documentary about a rapper’s daily life, and go to the studio with them.
CC: What was it like working with Isaiah (Yvng Pluto)?
PC: It was really fun, he was pretty much down for anything and we had a bunch of similar ideas about what would look dope. It was his idea to put static on the TV, which then gave me the idea to add static in the graphics later on. There’s also this one shot on the porch, and I was about to tell Isaiah to stand up on the beat drop, but he had the same idea and did (it) without me telling him to. That was a cool moment.