When it comes to paving her own lane, Bahja Rodriguez is hard at work.
The former OMG girl has worked tirelessly in crafting an image for herself since the disbandment of the girl group that catalyzed her career, and her latest solo endeavor is only proof of that hard work.
“Bahja is constantly thinking of new ways to impress her fans,” says Ashley Vance, journalist and frequent collaborator.
The short-film “LUV” is a 14-minute visual aide to Rodriguez’s EP of the same name released at the end of last year.
Centered around the central theme of a doomed romance, the project is brought to life under the creative direction of John Dierre and Breyona Holt, known to most as Exquisite Eye.
“Her close-knit creative circle has been a defining factor of her consistent aesthetic,” says Vance, referring to Bahja and Breyona Holt’s storied creative background together.
We were able to gather both Bahja’s and Breyona’s thoughts on the “LUV” project’s inspiration and conception. Read what they had to say and treat yourself to a first look at the full film exlusively on The Source.
Bahja, describe the process you went through in creating ‘Luv’. What experiences influenced the development of the project?
BAHJA: ‘Luv’ was really my whole entire take on life at that point. These songs aren’t just about my personal experiences, it’s about what my close family and friends experience as lovers. I really wanted to tap into my vulnerable state and give the best possible reflection of those stories and struggles.
Bree, What was your process in complementing the project visually? What influences did you draw inspiration from?
BREE: I’ve always been a visual type of person. For me, the visual presentation of something can really take things to a another level. After hearing Bahja’s project I felt it could use a visual story to help connect with the listeners. This film was inspired from artists like Michael Jackson and Usher who’ve both created magnificent bodies of work; like Thriller and Rhythm City, both telling a visual story through their music. With “LUV” we walk the viewers through a chaotic relationship between two lovers.
You two are frequent collaborators. What draws the two of you together creatively?
BAHJA: I think me and Bree create so often because one, we both know where each other wants to go visually and two, we’re both passionate about our crafts. Since they go hand in hand it really works out for the best. With this short film in particular, I knew I wanted to do it but Bree really helped to bring it to fruition. Us, along with John Dierre, and the entire team that was on set that day who worked tirelessly to create this body of work. So, we are drawn to each other creatively because we both respect each others vision and strive towards a common goal.
BREE: For me, I love to create with people who compliment my vision and style. Many people don’t always see the vision, but with Bahja, she’s very open minded with my ideas. I think we’re so drawn to each other creatively because we understand how important it is to work and build together to achieve the bigger purpose.
You both take part of Madhouse, correct? Why was it important that you embarked on creating that collective together?
BREE: Madhouse was inspired to create a voice for emerging artist. With my team and I experiencing that first hand, we know exactly how it feels to feel like a crazy person for believing in yourself. Sometimes artist bet their last dollar on their dream and just a little recognition. Sharing their story goes a long way by helping the next person who may be scared to follow their dream. Together we will continue to inspire and encourage others to do whatever it is you love.
BAHJA: Being apart of Madhouse was not only beneficial but important, since the entire goal of the collective is to shine light on up and coming artists. With me being an artists myself, I always want to help my fellow artist be seen. When Bree approached me with the idea to be apart I couldn’t refuse. All artists want a chance to be heard and I’m proud to be apart of something that does just that. Give artists a voice.
Watch “LUV” below, directed by John Dierre and Breyona Holt.