NNAMDÏ isn’t exactly the life of the party on his latest single, “Anti.” The somber track is the Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter’s latest glimpse of his forthcoming album, Please Have a Seat, out Oct. 7 via Secretly Canadian and his label Sooper Records.
On an album that urges you to slow down, take a breath and give yourself a second to emotionally reset, “Anti,” plunges deep into anxiety and trauma. The song arrives accompanied by an Austin Vesely-directed video in which NNAMDÏ personifies his own experience dealing with the two. Over an airy beat, the rapper’s laid-back flow is a bluff as he recounts his struggles while maintaining a casual coolness. Despite the easygoing instrumentals, NNAMDÏ cuts deep as he reaches his wits’ end and is forced to reckon with broken promises and fake friends. “It’s too hard to forget / All the things you put me through,” he admits, the sense of deceit palpable in the downtempo arrangement and pensive keys.
“I really like teetering on the edge of playful and unsettling and I think we did that with this video,” says NNAMDÏ in a statement. “The song/video is a journey through how generational and childhood trauma can manifest itself in different ways as an adult, especially if never confronted. Basically, the things that help create your origin story. I’ve had this video idea since the song’s conception and Austin really brought my treatment to life.”
“What excited me about adapting a treatment written by Nnamdi was that it had so many of the elements that make his music great — playfulness and surprise, some darkness and contrasts, depth in a short time frame — and also that it was clearly coming from a very personal place for him,” says Vesely. “Taking a trip through his mind is a thrill, and I’m pleased we were able to draw out this broader aspect of Nnamdi’s relationship to the song and share that. On a technical level, I’m so proud of the crew and cast of this thing for making it all happen in a single day. From sunny backyards to darkened, dilapidated hallways, everyone was on this wild ride that day and did such an amazing job keeping the narrative together and maintaining the beauty of the images.”
Check out the music video for “Anti” below.