Jay Electronica’s “Dear Moleskin” and “Exhibit A” gave a very intimate look at his trip to Nepal in 2009. The dramatic imagery of Jay basking in thought at South Asian temples was an extension of the type of real talk he expressed on the track. “Dear Moleskin” was short enough as a snippet; long enough to keep Jay’s fans biting their nails to hear it in full. Three years later after “Dear Moleskin” marinating on the web, the complete track appeared on NahRight last week. Helping to show the depth of the song’s journey, Jason Goldwatch, the director for “Dear Moleskin” chimed in on the making of the video. “Radios crackled, and dogs barked, and I stood there with Jay watching and taking it in. He had just been blessed by an ancient looking Sadhu, and had fresh paint on his face,” says Goldwatch on his site. Read below for more of Goldwatch’s memories from his mystic travels with Jay Electronica.
Jay Electronica is from New Orleans, so he’s probably seen Mardi Gras. How did he react to seeing the processions of people in the scenes from the “Deal Moleskin” teaser?
It was intense for sure. I think [what's] more intense was the people’s reactions to him. Everyone, I mean everyone wanted to take pictures and pose with him, get his autograph and just be near him. He kept mumbling a word we couldn’t quite make out. Our interpreter told us they were saying “Obama” and everyone there was convinced he was the future president.
What other location was in consideration to shoot before you decided on Nepal?
Long story. We were scheduled to shoot in Mumbai, and were supposed to stay at the hotel that got attacked, just days before we got there. We had been leading up for a month or so, location scouts, translators, tour guides, shop owners, monks, babas, sadhus, buddhists, and then those assholes came and started killing everyone.
In a last minute decision made by us in Thailand, we changed all flights to Nepal, Kathmandu, and decided to fly by the seat of our pants, and just go. I honestly think the film and videos came out as amazing and as they did, simply because we were forced, literally forced to live in the moment, completely open, and flow like a river. The path of resistance guided us through our journey and safely home.
How did you manage to make such a spiritual or sacred place look so cool?
Who said spirit and sacred isn’t cool? I can’t think of anything in the world that gets more attention to detail than life long pursuits. Chapels and temples, and art that meant to express the divine are the hottest shit out…Swag.