Jason Solomons is a respected film critic on BBC News, Sky News and BBC Radio.
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Luna makes international splash with Celebrate!
The ten-minute-long video starts with a montage of equally depressing situations: a man contemplating suicide, a mugging, vagrants begging, a shot of an ominously headlined newspaper. Shady figures meet in secret to plan on how to plunge an already dark world into further darkness. Enter Richie Luna.
Richie Luna is another way for Trinidad-born performer Richie Sabga, to bring light back into the world. A musician and entrepreneur, Sabga started his road-lights company Luna Road in 2008, and his musical career in 2010 as popstar-cum-superhero Richie Luna.
“The overall idea of the character Richie Luna has been in development for roughly three or four years. The original idea started off as a movie script, however, given my innate love and passion for music, I decided to tell the story of Richie Luna through writing songs and equivalent music videos. Each song and video representing a unique chapter of his story,” said Sabga via e-mail. The character himself is a superhero with the power to generate moonlight energy, using it to bring light and love to a depressed world.
Sabga’s first song, co-written by Sabga and Kevon and Kory Hart, Lighting the Way, won the monthly songwriting award for March 2012 from Songwriters Universe Magazine. It was later picked up by producer DJ Ammo, and re-recorded by Machel Montano and popstar Pitbull in 2013. On the tails of that success came Celebrate (The Call to Light). The ambitious video for the dance-pop tune was finally released on Yahoo Music and Vevo on June 26 after a full year of online hype. The 42-second-long teaser on popular video site, YouTube, has managed to rack up more than five million views since it was released in May 2013.
“Having the music video for Celebrate! premiere to the world on the front page headlines of Yahoo Music was definitely an amazing moment in my career. From the simple formation of a dream and idea a few years ago, to seeing it being headlined on one of the world’s most popular music/entertainment websites...was a definite moment to celebrate for me!” said Sabga.
The video was produced by Alan Ferreira and Nigel Celestine with cinematography by Ronald Lee. Viewers may recognise parts of Port-of-Spain as well as masman Peter Minshall who plays one of the mid-level villains. The video also features the Elle NYTT dance group, though most of dancing in the video was not choreographed.
“The energy during the shoot was epic and real. Everyone was having a genuine blast as we all danced away to a massive music truck. It felt like Carnival Monday and Tuesday on the streets again!” said Sabga.
For Sabga, Celebrate! is just the beginning. The video ends with the dark forces taking Richie Luna hostage, with a “to be continued” promising a second installment though Sabga was tight-lipped about any details. On the topic of the future he said, “Letting this milestone of the music video premiere unfold and riding that journey forward towards the new destinations that I encounter is my main focus at the moment. I try not to hold my plans too far into the future. Of course you must have future plans and goals, however, as much as we try to plan in advance, God is ultimately in charge of the now.”