Helios Hussain On the Making of Chuck Inglish’s “Sweat Shorts” Video
Directing your first video for your boss...no pressure, right?
Imagine you have just signed to a new label and you’re dying to get involved with as many projects as possible; not just to make your presence felt, but also because you feel you’re meant to create. Then you get the idea to write and direct a music video for your boss, who signed you. To top it off, you get this text one night from said boss: “I trust your eye & vision.”
This is exactly what unfolded right before Helios Hussain’s eyes last year with Chuck Inglish’s “Sweat Shorts” single. The latest signee to Chuck’s Sounds Like Fun Records got right to work on the script that night and had it finished within 24 hours. After traveling and working with Chuck for about eight months prior, Helios had the plot and aesthetic down. It all naturally came to him from the record, itself, he admits. This initial inspiration combined with his aversion for cookie-cutter rap videos, he ended up with something a little more outside of the box:
“I wanted to make this video ‘quirky,’ which is uncommon in hip hop videos these days, or in any video for that matter. Most artists are afraid to look ‘vulnerable.’ But it’s all apart of being yourself and executing the idea.”
In order to bring the video to life, Helios reached out to his friend and fellow Detroit native SIR FAWN. Helios describes the video’s co-director and producer as “weird and an asshole just like me. SIR FAWN is white, but I keep him in the hood with me. That’s how Detroit is. It’s depressing and that depression creates: A Jungle Full Of Ideas.”
With regards to the genius idea of having beers being passed to Chuck’s co-star Asher Roth from off camera throughout the early part of the video, Helios tells us that that was Asher’s doing.
For the resolution of the plot, Helios decided to let the good guys lose. We may never know the reasoning behind the choice: “I’m into a lot of subconscious books, so the idea of Asher never getting his shorts back is subliminal. I kind of don’t want to explain the secret, so don’t ask me.”
Helios reveals the toughest part of shooting the music video was his own scene, where he tries to convince a little kid that his father is a horrible role model and that Helios should replace him. The kid, who is i am OTHER artist Buddy’s little brother, would not cooperate and forced them to improvise.
“The little kid DID NOT WANT TO SIT DOWN,” Helios emphatically states. “We wanted to sit, he wanted to run. We wanted to run, he wanted to sit. He actually started running towards the ocean out of nowhere and I had to catch him and act like I was running with him. He made all of us realize, we aren’t ready to have children of our own.”
Watch the video above for a behind the scenes look at the making of “Sweat Shorts.” In it, you’ll see Chuck hyping up throwing a perfect spiral off of the third case of beer, and trying to get sponsored by Coors and Illadelph. You can tell that Helios is excited with the footage on set when he’s not on camera. And you’ll catch a few seconds of Asher’s emotional reaction to losing his favorite shorts.