The recent collaboration from Mia Watkins ’16 and Eric Hernandez ’16 brings to life the new single from R&B artist Mawule and celebrates the importance of fatherhood.
Elon University alumni Mia Watkins ’16 and Eric Hernandez ’16 recently collaborated to create what one author called a “powerful music video” for Denver-based R&B artist Mawule. Several other online news sources have also followed suit, praising the four-minute video’s aesthetics and message.
Since the Father’s Day release of Mawule’s “Anything” music video, directed by Watkins and filmed by Hernandez, news releases celebrating the project have appeared on BolderBeat.com, GHBase.com and DopeCauseWeSaid.com. Glenn Sawyer and Rich Veltrop of The Spot Studios produced the video, which also features DJ Zenas.
BolderBeat, an independent music news source based in Colorado, lauded the Elon collaboration, noting its “cinematic quality that is fine-tuned, crisp, and feels, at times, like a short film.” With the inclusion of shots from Denver’s Union Station and the surrounding region, the “video gives viewers a ‘day in the life’ feel that pulls them right into the story,” the BolderBeat release added.
The video and its lyrics are widely described as a celebration of fatherhood, particularly single black fathers. The video reinforces that narrative, focusing on a young, single father (played by Mawule) struggling to make ends meet, while striving to support his young daughter.
Watkins – who works professionally under the name Mia Ginaé – enjoyed the creative process with Mawule and was glad to reconnect with Hernandez, a former classmate.
“I really enjoyed the synergy of the cast and crew on set,” said Watkins, a cinema and television arts major. “Eric, Mawule and I did a lot of pre-production prior to the production. Most of our plan we followed, but there were instances where the scenes came to life on their own and brought magic to the project.”
Watkin also applauded “Eric’s strong sense of cinematography,” which is evident in the video’s finished version. “Each shot takes your breath away, from the intimate close ups, tracking shots, and wide landscapes,” she said of Hernandez’s work.
Born Ebenezer Yebuah in Accra, Ghana, Mawule has gained a sizeable following for his willingness to tackle delicate subject matter in his music and lyrics. In addition to his acclaimed music video for “Black is Beautiful,” Mawule has received praise for examining topics relating to race, poverty, sexual violence, suicide awareness and self-discovery.
The R&B artist and activist has an interesting background, having earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies and a master’s in student affairs and higher education. He is currently serving as a resident director at the University of Denver.
For the past year, Watkins has worked as a video editor for Sony PlayStation in San Diego. Hernandez recently began working as an associate producer/finishing editor at Rocky Mountain PBS.