Following his SXSW debut and club circuit run during this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami, Vakeró returns with a visually stunning piece of cinematography for “Mi Sepelio,” which topped on iTunes in the Dominican Republic on Thursday (May 4) and garnered major love on Spotify’s new music Latin playlist.
The Gabriel Lantiguo-directed video is set against the sugarcane fields of San Pedro de Macorís in the Dominican Republic, where Vakeró – whose musical stylings are à la Bob Marley meets Tego Calderon – was born and raised.
The visual, which Vakeró breaks all the way down for us (below), follows the story of a deceased man who returns from the afterlife to witness his own burial. The single is set to live on his upcoming album, Metamórfosis.
On the concept of the song and video
Vakeró: The concept of the song is centered around a deceased man who had the opportunity to check out his own funeral, and he was not happy with it. There, he noticed his wife’s satisfaction at seeing him dead and pretending before those present that she felt pain and sadness. His kids were fighting to divide the inheritance even before burying their father, something that we have either witnessed or heard about in our own lives. This is just what I wanted to illustrate in the video, but to make it less sad, utilizing elements that represent my city of birth, San Pedro de Macoris, known for the Cañaveral (sugarcane field) and the Guloyas (the colorfully dressed dancers you see).
On the elements and message
The Guloyas represent the affection that the deceased man had for his folklore, which has influenced my own music. Sugarcane brings me beautiful memories of my childhood, because [the sugarcane field] was a place that I frequented, and whenever they say “cane,” I automatically think of the place that I come from. Part of the message I would like to convey, including these two elements I just described, is that we should not allow those [important] aspects of our lives (and our culture) that make us different to die.
On lived experience, filming and production
The video was filmed between San Pedro de Macorís and Ingenio Consuelo. The director was Gabriel Lantiguo, who worked with a super professional crew. They took their time, but in the end, the results made it all worth it. It was an experience that was a bit difficult. Imagine that I had to play the part of a dead guy, something that felt a little too real because of the folks that went to the funeral. They were members of my band, Los Habacuc, and very close friends. But at the same time, it illustrated that nothing on earth is more important that putting God first—and love. After that comes material things, which are only adornments for us while we are alive and we cannot take them with us.
Watch “Mi Sepelio” – out on Mayimba Music – exclusively on VIBE.com (above).