The song--written by Skygrass lead singer Simon--was conceived during a discouraging moment of a dead-end job. “ I was in a dark workshop engraving metal name tags for the deceased, sometimes doing anywhere from thirty to eighty a day. This forced me to really consider my own mortality daily and I realized I had to move forward with purpose and make my life more meaningful to humanity.”
To director Kyle Chin, the song made all the difference between win and lose: “I gravitated to the song IAMKING whilst on the road to recovery after battling with an illness that had me physically debilitated” expressed Chin. “I had already drawn motivation and strength from others but had to find much more within myself to get better and not only to just recover but to be stronger than before. I set a goal, which was to win my first full contact Chinese Kickboxing tournament at the tail end of my recovery”. After being immobilized for weeks by this illness, Kyle used the song as motivation to push forward: “Throughout that training process, this was the song that I listened to the most, in those midnight hour training sessions and lonely moments in the gym and on the day of the tournament. I won.”
Kyle’s victory, his championing of his illness and the central role SKYGRASS’s song ‘IAMKING’ played in his fight for recovery inspired Chin to approach the band to bring the song to life visually in the form of a short film. Chin strove to make the short a true Jamaican story of defeat followed by victory after internal human struggle: “The film/music video ties in my own experience to a more relatable reality. It speaks to the power of self-motivation and the integrity of a true regal nature”.
Produced by Analisa Chapman, the film was shot in one day across Kingston, “The anxiety and excitement may have been doubled because I had invested so much of myself in the story and wanted to see it done justice” says Chin. “Someone once told me that a good director knows how to assemble a good team. The team that came together to make this a reality were incredible, and humble to boot. The energy on set was positive and the focus was singular”.
The result is epic – a music video/ short film like no other filmed on the island.
SKYGRASS’s powerful lyrics and instrumental delivery is perfectly complimented by Nile Saulter’s spectacular cinematography and Chin’s direction. With fight scenes displayed in dramatic, vivid, realism, the quality of the action packed film truly speaks to the potential of Jamaica’s film fraternity. The song, which may prove to be a life changer for more than a few listeners, is a powerful, uplifting composition infused with the flavors of reggae, dancehall and rock that has made SKYGRASS both stand out and stand up for an evolving definition of Jamaican music.