Jason Seife on Big Sean and Nicki Minaj, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Booty as Muse
Miami muralist and graphic designer, Jason Seife, linked up with Big Sean and Nicki Minaj to paint the background for their extra bootylicious "Dance (Ass) Remix." The jam is right up to date with the latest Big Freedia guide-to-twerkin. And the video directors, Mike Waxx and Mike Carson, needed visuals just as fresh.
The duo had worked with Seife before on their ILLROOTS website. But it wasn't until they saw a piece he had done featuring a majestic gold lion that they started to see the creative light.
We shot Seife some questions to get the scoop on the creative process and just how inspired he was by Nicki Minaj's badonk.
New Times: How much direction did they give you?
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Jason Seife: Originally, we were just shooting for the Big Sean version. We shot in Atlanta and did the whole video minus Nicki's part. I got the call a few days before and Waxx and I went back and forth on Photoshop, making mockups of what we wanted. We made all of the creative decisions ourselves. Big Sean and his people hadn't even seen the mural until the day of shooting, but they ended up loving it.
While we were shooting in Atlanta, Nicki sent her remix verse so they decided to shoot a second part of the video and make the video actually be for the remix. So a few weeks later we flew to NYC and shot the second half. As for Nicki's wall, her and her people were a bit more hands on as far as what they wanted/didn't want, but they still gave me a lot of freedom to do as I pleased. I had a basic mockup of what I wanted to do before hand but it was mainly just shapes and colors, and I kinda freestyled the rest once i got there.
The mural seems to fit somewhere in between classic graffiti style and contemporary indie-hipster-hop #swag aesthetic. What are your influences?
The lion was the center for the design. Also Big Sean is from Detroit and is very proud of it. So we wanted the mural to be something that depicted him to the fullest. If you look closely, there are Detroit team logos, as well as Big Seans birth year: '88. I also drew some influence from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air intro.
Did you get to meet Nicki Minaj and/or her booty?
I did get to meet her briefly. She was actually very down to earth despite her larger than life persona. She came in, killed her parts, and made my art look a million times better by dancing in front of it! Let's just say, after having Nicki dance in front of my work, my ass influence has increased quite a bit.
How much is your art influenced by ass?
Theres this Keith Haring/Basquiat-type drawing that I've been involving in my work a lot lately. You can see it through out the video in the murals. I also love doing work based off of animals. I'm very A.D.D. when it comes to my work. One day I may be into painstaking hyper-realism, and the next day i may do a very loose impressionist piece. I get bored very easily so I find it hard to stick to one style or theme.
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