Premiere: Watch "Club Lights" From Angelnumber 8
Angelnumber 8 is a New York-born, Houston-bred, Los Angeles-based musician sourcing influence from the many places he’s called home. Surrounded by his parents’ West African culture throughout his upbringing, Angelnumber 8 also took to rhythm and dance at a young age. His moniker, odd at first review, actually bears heavy symbolic meaning, which as theories in number sequence suggest, is a sign of harmony, peace and balance, guiding believers in decision making throughout ambiguous moments in life.
The artist admits to the number 8 following him throughout life, yet claims to carry the name with no implication. “Angelnumber 8 just came to me one night two years ago… it’s just me,” he says. With the birth of his artist name also came his first track, “Flight 2 Tokyo”, in 2016. Now, two years later, the 23-year-old artist releases a music video for his latest single, “Club Lights”, which highlights the conflict between dispelling temptations we know are bad for us, and succumbing to them for the relieving, yet temporary, effect they sometimes provide.
Check our exclusive interview with the artist below, and above, a first look at the music video directed by Wyatt Winfrey, AJ Greene, Angelnumber 8, produced and edited by Nathaniel Leshem, and filmed by Brandon Sapp.
Tell us about your background, where are you from?
I’m from New York. I’ve also lived in Houston for some time and now live in Los Angeles.
How did you get started in music?
I’ve been surrounded by sound my whole life. My parents are from West Africa, Liberia, so from my earliest years, I’ve been absorbing rhythm and dance. Growing up in New York you learn what’s fresh and what’s wack and not only just in New York, but on a world level. Everything is like a sport for you. Clothing, music, the slang you use, the way you walk—everything you want to be on top of your game at. Being exposed to that helped me fall in love with music.
My first introduction to music that wasn’t strictly personal was in middle school when I joined the choir. I joined to impress some girls so after graduating I never thought anything of it. When I moved to Houston in 2011 is when I started to write and rhyme my words. I would spend mad time on the phone with my friend who lived in New York just writing rhymes, looking for fresh new or old songs, and listening to his rhymes on the instrumentals he would email me. This is when I started to make music. He would always tell me like, “Word, let’s do this song today then I’ll send you these beats for tomorrow.” Just rapping, having fun, trying to face the reality of how my life had shifted by moving to the south.
It took me like two years of experimenting to find out what my sound truly was and what felt right for me. But once I did, I made my first song, Flight 2 Tokyo, in 2016.
What’s the message behind Club Lights? Inspired by anything in particular?
I wrote this song before leaving Houston to move back to New York last year. I try to keep my messages as universal as possible with my songs. I don’t really think of set particular meanings. I have an idea from where it all stems from, but I try to make the lyrics fit anyone’s life. The Club Lights story gives words to the internal fight that we experience in life. The battle between the stuff that is good for us, our “sunlight”, versus those forces that destroy us, our “club lights”. And word, I also don’t like being in the club.
What was the direction for the music video? Who was involved and what was the process like?
I met Wyatt (Director) and Nathaniel (Producer/Editor) last year. We shot my first video, CA Girl, in Malibu together all in like 2 days. AJ (Director) was actually there too. The beginning of this summer, AJ and I first met and talked over possible directions and details for the Club Lights video. Once it was school’s out for Wyatt and Nate, they flew back to LA and we started laying the foundation down. I ran across the idea for the television being used through Allison Road by Gin Blossom’s video. So fresh. We incorporated it into this story and shot the whole thing at Nate mom’s crib in Sherman Oaks. Those cool type houses you see on Disney Channel where the kids be looking like they can hop on and off each other’s roof and shit, climb through each others windows, whatever. We rented lights and smoke machines from Guitar Center and shot the video over a couple days. Once we all discussed what the song meant to us, the shooting came naturally. I feel that a lot of the time you’ve just got to do it and see what it feels like. Then make the necessary tweaks and do it again. Sofia was fucking great. She’s got some serious moves. She plays the role of the “club lights”, where I carry her in the television far and wide to separate myself. Shoutout Brandon Sapp (Camera) for the clutch HD scene capturing.
Does fashion and style find its way into your music? Are they connected in any way?
Yeah definitely. Everything in my life I put into my music. All of my feelings are connected when it comes to creating and expressing.
Who are some people you look up to?
I look up to and respect all the OGs who did this before me and paved the way for us. I look up to the ones who are doing it still, creating paths for those who will come after them.
What else can we be expecting from you soon? Working on any exciting projects?
Just learning more and creating more fresh shit. I’m working on my first big project right now. Thank you guys for feeling me.
Featured image courtesy of Angelnumber 8
Stay tuned to Milk for more first listens.