Dancer Jessica Hu teamed up with singer-songwriter Otieno Terry and producers Max Levin and Teo Shantz to create Love16, a visual media experiment that hints at the unique possibilities that result when creative communities merge.
Known for posting dance videos to the music of Gucci Mane and Missy Elliott, Jessica wanted to create something entirely original; rather than choreographing to the music of top-40 radio, she collaborated with Seattle-based artists to make a truly unique and eclectic piece. This idea quickly became a shared vision and joint effort between 4 individuals, and those that support them.
Love16 features rising Seattle vocalist Otieno Terry, accompanied by drummer Teo Shantz and keyboardist Max Levin who produced the music that underscores Jess’s dance. Shantz, who comes from a musical family well-known for its presence in the Seattle scene, also directed and took upon the role of production designer. In an effort to fuse song with dance, electronic music production with real instrumentation, and live performance with recorded footage, this crew wanted to explore uncharted territory from the get-go.
Unlike traditional music videos that use choreography and imagery as an afterthought to the song, Love16 was designed with all components considered from the start – both the sound and the movement as equal parts. These creatives have known each other for a few years, but only when they came together to conceptualize this piece, a new potential was realized. Partnership between artists of different crafts from the inception of a project presented new opportunities that got the group instantly stoked. What started as a living room jam session between Max and Teo’s improv grooves, Otieno’s scatting, and Jess’s freestyle dancing, has now become a fast-paced and multi-faceted combination of their styles.
This project not only created a radical blend of talents and musical tastes, but also formed an outlet for each individual to approach their artistry in a new way. Their process was actively comprehensive and experimental in the making of something that lives outside the box of conventional media.