Just last month, Dutch-Ghanaian singer-songwriter Nana Adjoa announced she'd completed work on her debut album, Big Dreaming Ants, by dropping the video for lead single "Throw Stones". Although the album won't be arriving until September 24, we've already got the second single, "No Room".
The video for this beautifully calming track — built around little more than a guitar and Adjoa's stunningly gentle voice — is as packed with detail as the song itself. The many references to her Ghanaian heritage include the Fugu cloth in the background of one of the shots, the woven Bolga basket and fan, and the dress worn by the mother figure with seeds sown onto it that nods to a game Ghanaian parents play with their children. There's also a brief shot of an Oware board, a game played in Ghanaian households, and probably quite a few other references we haven't spotted yet.
All that is to say that the "No Room" video is full to bursting with nostalgic points of reference for Adjoa, alluding not just to Ghanaian culture as a whole, but also to the home she grew up in. As she explains below, the idea behind the video was to create a daydream-like visual, a default setting that the mind drifts off to without even realising.
Nana explains: "I wrote 'No Room' about this feeling I can get when you have a conversation with someone which gets stuck in habitual small talk. Trying to control the moment, leaving no room to discover the moment, each other or something new and unexpected. It's vague, but it is a feeling. The director, Robbert [Doelwijt Jr.], takes us out of 'the ordinary' space into this dreamlike landscape where you (the viewer) and the main character find the room to drift off. It was an 'out of the ordinary' experience recording this video and great working with Robbert and the whole incredible team."
Before Big Dreaming Ants drops September 24, pre-order the album here.