Nigerian director Mr. Moe Musa has worked on numerous music videos, including Olamide’s recent hit 'Bobo'. His breakout work was with Fuse ODG on the 'Antenna' video in 2013. The success of that video led to a clamour for Musa, who was born in Nigeria and raised in the UK. Musa has worked with several African artists on a long list of music videos including Davido's 'Skelewu', Wizkid's 'Azonto', Tiwa Savage's 'Wanted', Sarkodie's 'Down on One', May D's 'So Many Tinz' and 2face's 'Diaspora Woman'. In 2013 he won the City People Awards for Best Director of the Year.
He spoke about his life and work in this interview with Stephen Aghalu from Nigeria's Tush Magazine.
TM: Tell us about yourself
M.M.M: My name is Mr. Moe Musa, born Mohammed Musa. I’m 31 years old. I was born in Lagos, grew up and schooled in London but I’m back in Lagos producing music videos now.
What was your life like before you became a video director?
I started from a young age and always knew that I wanted to do this, so I’ve always been working towards this although I was a bit scared of production initially.
Your relationship status?
I’m single and I work a lot.
I studied video production at the University of West London and graduated in 2009.
How long does it take to shoot a video?
It depends on the scale of production. We shot Olamide’s ‘Bobo’ in three hours, edited in two hours and the entire production took about seven hours. Whereas you can spend a week planning a production, two days for the shoot and spend another week in post-production. Generally it can vary from about seven to 72 hours.
Are you a photographer?
Yes, I’ve recently taken it up again as a hobby and I enjoy it. It’s mostly editorial and abstract photography.
Biggest myth about video directing?
It takes time and planning. Many people think they can get it all done in a day, but you need time to plan and organize.
How long have you been a video director/producer?
It’s been four years of doing it professionally and 12 years in total.
What was your first major production?
I shot a couple of videos while in the UK for Stylo G when I was much younger.
How was it working on Olamide’s ‘Bobo’ and ‘Melo Melo’?
It’s always amazing working with Olamide and I love the way he operates. The success of the ‘(Shakiti) Bobo’ video has allowed for a new type of video. I’ve always suggested doing those kinda videos and people objected, but Olamide accepted it and we’ve showed that such videos are possible and can be successful.
Who would you like to co-direct with?
I don’t co-direct; I’d rather create my art alone.
List of artiste’s you’ve worked with?
The most challenging video you’ve shot was?
It was Wande Coal’s ‘Go Low’ video where we had to lay water pipes in the studio. There was a lot of pre-production for that.
What do you think of criticism?
In the creative industry everyone’s always going to have an opinion so I always expect criticism and I don’t let it bother me.
Would you consider directing a feature film?
Certainly. That’s actually where my heart lies and I have some documentaries and films coming out soon.
Do you have any projects going on?
What is the best part of your job?
I get to meet so many different types of people and travel to different places.
I’ve seen some great places in Los Angeles, London and I think Nigeria’s has some pretty great locations too. People just need to allow artists use their locations more.
Advice for upcoming directors?
Keep working hard, no matter what happens.
First published on 5 December 2015 in Tush Magazine