You may not recognize him if you walk past him but Director K is the name behind several of the amazing music videos out there. Although he hasn’t been in the game for too long, he has racked up a clientele of the industry’s top dogs, including Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, Teni and Rema. He has gradually become a household name for hit music videos. Here, he shares parts of his journey, so far, with us.
Please tell us about yourself?
My name is Qudus Aremu, aka Director K. I grew up in Surulere, Shitta and I’m still writing my story.
What inspires you?
I get inspiration from everything around me; things I see every day, videos, pictures, everything. That’s the beauty of it to me.
How long have you been in the industry?
3 years, time flies.
What was the first major video you produced? And how did you get the job?
First major video? The first major video was Teni – Case. It was also the video that really got me out there and brought a lot of attention to my work. Teni and I go way back, she’s family. We met through Bankulli and vibed a lot. Everything with her has always been super natural.
What has been your most favourite video you shot so far?
Haha! I have a lot of favourites. I have probably personally contributed at least a million views to my videos on YouTube. I always go back to watch my work to study it, but also to vibe. It’s very important you enjoy what you do!
We read that you used to shoot videos with an iPhone?
Yes, I started shooting with an iPhone, not like I planned it, it just happened. There was a girl I used to date, I did a picture slide with sound playing– it had a little emotion. I shared it with her, she loved it and she sent to her friends. They then asked me to do the same for them and from there, I felt maybe I should try shooting with my iPhone and edit with the phone to see what it will look like. I never looked back from there. Shoutout to my ex.
What videos did you shoot with an iPhone?
The crazy story is that the first video I shot on the iPhone, I was the only person that watched it. When I finished editing it, I tried exporting it from the application I used. It said my phone memory was full and when I tried clearing up files, I accidentally deleted the files I shot from my camera roll and there was no way to recover them. Man, I cried myself to sleep that night! It still remains a special video, as it was the start of this journey. The rest of videos I shot on my iPhone, I sent to people to watch and only a few people replied. I think we ended up uploading some of them on YouTube, I need to check!
And how long did you do that for?
About a year
What would you say sets you apart from other directors in the game?
I take a lot of risk, I just started making a living as Director K in 2020. I invested everything i got paid for projects over the last few years and treated the end product as my payment– I used to be super broke. Most times when I needed to go for a meeting, I didn’t have a lot of money for transportation but all thanks to God, all the sacrifices I made are paying off now. I now have an incredible company and team around me, working daily in a proper structure. It’s been a blessed journey so far and I am excited for the future.
You recently won Headies award for Video of the year, how did that feel?
You know, when a lot of people doubt your dream and you end up proving them wrong, it’s an amazing feeling. 3 years ago, I posted on Facebook that I owe my people one of it. So, fulfilling that promise was a big one for me. God is good.
With all you have currently achieved, would you say you’re living your dreams? Or there is more you want to attain? If so, please speak on your goals for 2021?
Yes I’m living the dream, and I also still have a lot more to attain. It’s part of the reason why people can’t put a face to my name, because I had to put in the work first. I didn’t want to put myself all up in peoples faces and not focus on consistently delivering the right level. The goal for 2021 is to keep elevating and dropping a lot of amazing projects back to back. My Q1 has started off on the right track.
Talk to us about the Onyeka Video you directed for Burna Boy?
The inspiration behind Onyeka is to celebrate the special someone in our lives, the person that makes life worth living, and also showcase and celebrate Africa. We used the same lead girl from the On the Low video to showcase the characters and how much they’ve grown to love each other from both songs. Their chemistry was incredible to capture.
How was the process?
It was a sleek process. Have you been satisfied with the feedback? Yes 100%. Like I said earlier, it’s a continuation to On the Low. People loved On the Low, seeing people react to Onyeka in a positive way is satisfying. Burna was also amazing to work with, he takes his craft seriously and you just need to film him in his element.
You also directed Rema’s Bounce track. How did you and Rema connect? And how did you bring that idea to life?
Funny how I ought to have worked with Rema before now. Mavin reached out I think 2 years ago to have me shoot his first video but then it didn’t happen. I guess it wasn’t the right time for us to work, but with Bounce, I’m glad we were able to do something amazing. Rema is a star and I really enjoyed working with him. He’s particular about his brand and everything he wants, he’s been like that from the very first moment I met him 2 years ago. He hit me up that he wanted the mad max theme for Bounce and we vibed. I then worked on a treatment, he loved it and we made it happen. We’ve got a lot to come. Shout out to the Ravers!
Your most recent work Essence by Wizkid featuring Tems dropped last week, how do you feel?
I feel honored. Wiz and I are from the same hood so this was a big moment for me personally. He’s a legend to us and many others. Working with him has given me every inspiration and fuel to keep growing. Not a lot people make it where we’re from and he’s shown us what’s possible. I can’t explain.
What is PriorGold Pictures? Can you shed some light on that initiative?
PriorGold Pictures is a media and production services company focused on music videos, creative visuals and television. We’re a proud indigenous company operating at international standards. It was co-founded in 2019 by myself and partners Bruce IV, Jimi Adesanya, Leke Alabi Isama and Meji Alabi. Setting up PriorGold Pictures is one of the best decisions I’ve made, it’s beyond business, it’s a family thing. Can’t wait to share what we have in the pipe.