Tag Archives: music video

Searching for Beauty and Meaning in Tamar Braxton’s “Love and War” Music Video





Director Walid Azami Sought Unique Ways to Portray the Pop Star

Viewers of Tamar Braxton’s “Love and War” music video may not soak in the significance of the stained glass window she’s facing while perched on the edge of a bathtub in the opening scene.

“You listen to her interviews and you hear how she’s relied on God. She’s in a cramped space and it’s dark and I wanted an element of God in the room, of lightness and good,” said Walid Azami, the director of the video that was nominated for a 2013 Soul Train “Video of the Year” award.

The details that can go unnoticed, coupled with the imagery and style Walid used, elevate the video from what could have been the retelling of a reality show to a timeless creation.

Walid told me during an interview that the project was like caring for someone’s newborn baby, and he knew how important the project was to her career. The song “Love and War” focuses on the challenging reality of relationships and Walid said he wanted to change the tone from how viewers may associate her with the reality show Braxton Family Values.

I also dug into his career that began about five years ago while working with Madonna.

How did working for Madonna lay a career foundation for you as a photographer?

She does so much to learn so much. I sat there and I watched. I watched her work with thesephotographers and directors and I thought, ‘I won’t get this chance to be a fly on the wall like this, anywhere but here.’

She was doing children’s books, and sitcoms, and a world tour. I was there for 1 ½ to 2 years and she has her hands in so many different pots you can’t help but learn. I felt like I came out with a college degree in marketing and music videos and imagery. She does more than any other pop star, really.

For Tamar’s video, how did you decide on your approach?

Her character [on the reality show] is so amped up, I wanted people to see how beautiful she is. I wanted to tone her down. The hard decision in that was initially there weren’t the kindest reviews from her fans. They wanted a lot more war. They wanted doors slamming and things breaking and I wasn’t going to give them that.

I promised her she was going to have a classic video that would never expire.

The song is so descriptive and it is about love and war and I thought, let’s not the let the video become so literal.

Now she’s in her third and fourth video, I think you can see the plan work out.

Did you feel a lot of pressure?

A ton of pressure. I’m not going to lie. She’s following in Toni Braxton’s footsteps and we didn’t want a Toni Braxton video. At the time, she was several months pregnant and she hadn’t told me but I knew. So that was the hard thing, trying to think of the different angles. There were things I changed on set. I didn’t want her knowing that I know because I was afraid she would be self-conscious and she would be showing.

That was a huge challenge the day of. They can have their private moment but I still need to make her look incredible for this video.

Did the silhouettes play into it? The video and clothing seemed to flow.

The flowing, the dress, it was a sweater I think, I intentionally leaned on that for that reason. The silhouette was part of the symbolism throughout the video.

Why the black and white and why not intersperse with color?

I thought it would have been tacky for that song. I had just gotten back to the States from a trip and I got a call from Vincent her husband and said, ‘Hey, Tamar wants to talk to you.’ We had a few creative points back and forth and she said I want to do this in black and white. I think I even told her God bless you.

It was inspired by Herb Ritts for Chris Isaack’s video “Wicked Game.” It was very classic and he directed a video from Madonna’s “Cherish.” We actually filmed on the exact same patch of beach.

I saw a picture of Herb Ritts and he posed on the same little rock that I did with Tamar. He’s one of the photographers I look up to so I found that cool.

What about the symbolism in the video?

I use a lot of silhouettes because I wanted to highlight the war part without a lot of fighting. I show the darkness, the arguing moments, in silhouettes.

The first part of the video started with her looking at the ocean, she’s on the sand. I really wanted to use water because I think it’s cleansing. I think in any relationship, in any situation, you have to take a look at yourself, too.

I wanted her to see a reflection of herself, look at that, in a cleansing back-to-something-new sort of way. That’s why we started that way.

It shows your commitment to the project.

Always. I was talking to my assistant and I said, any artist, they sacrifice so much and it’s like literally holding someone’s newborn baby and they say, ‘here you go. I did everything I cold with this and I need you to take care of it.’ 

If you don’t give 100 percent then I think you’re failing.

You have to commit because you’re holding someone’s dream in your hands.

To view Walid’s work, click on his website WalidAzami.com 

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VIDEO OF THE YEAR nomination (Tamar Braxton, LOVE AND WAR)

Well that’s an honor, isn’t it?! Look at the company we’re with, awesome.

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Tamar Braxton talks about the LOVE AND WAR video

Tamar Braxton shot the music video for hot single, “Love and War,” in Los Angeles earlier this week. This single made many naysayers of Tamar into believers, she is set to release her new album next month. TheYBF was there to catch all of the behind the scenes of the video shoot and it was revealed that this visual will show a softer and sensual side of Tamar. Stay tuned for the video coming soon! Tamar Braxton is still on a high with her new single “Love and War” from her upcoming album that is scheduled for February 2013. With heavy promotion Tamar used the photography and director skills of  Walid Azami to deliver excitement to her fans…

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Win a free music video

If you know anyone that needs a great music video in Southern California, please retweet/reblog this.

My friend Darcy and I want to direct your band’s music video. It’s actually a contest within a contest because Darcy and I are having a friendly wager on the best angles and footage. We have one day in DTLA to film. At the shoot day, all the footage is combined into one amazing film for your band. We’ll be filming the process, because Darcy and I will not be together. It’s like the amazing race but not really. Darcy thinks that I may play jokes on her just because I launched fire crackers at her while she slept. Oh Darcy….you have no idea what’s coming your way.

Submission Email: DarcyAndWalidMakeMeAMovie@gmail.com

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Something free for Bands and Artists

It’s that time of the year, where we hear the bells of the salvation army outside the post office and annoying high school girls who think it’s cute to go to school with santa hats and snowman pajama bottoms. Seriously, you need to look at the fools and just shake your head, because somewhere inside that young mind she thinks she’s cute. I know, that makes me an ass for even mentioning it. That’s why I am offering something for free, to make up for my comments.

If you are in a band, a soloist, if you play an instrument or just sing at funerals and need a free photoshoot then keep reading. 2008 was a great year, I had the chance to work with GREAT people that I deeply admire. (Pictured below: CIARA)



I had opportunities that came my way, which I thought were years away. I get it, I worked my ass off and I am lucky too. That does not come free and it’s time to give to the arts community.

So….. do you need press and promo shots for your band? Are you signed? unsigned? Are you good or just fill up small shows because 2 members are cute, even though you have no talent? It does not matter. I am offering a free photo shoot for any musical act. All you have to do is apply on www.Nineteen76.com or www.WalidAzami.com and hit up the contact page. On that page, there is a form you fill out. Use the form to beg, plead, and bribe me. The band/artist that convinces me that they could really benefit from this gets the free photo shoot. It includes a make up artist, hair, photography, and retouched images. It is all you need to rightfully gain your place on the Billboard charts. 

So the rules? Not much. Just tell me why you deserve it and I’ll see if you do. Do you have to be local? Sadly, it is in your favor because travel is on your own bill. Everything else is on me. 

Other rules? YES! If your lyrics are hateful, encourage prejudice and put others down, you are disqualified. Hate is not creative or intelligent, so no rewarding that behavior! That’s about it. Don’t offend people because of the bad hand they got in life. Offend people for the idiotic and hateful decisions they make in life! There is a difference! 

So again, go to my website and click on the contact page. Fill the form out and tell me why your band deserves this. Know of someone who needs this? Pass the page along to your friends.

And…the contest ends December 15, 2008.

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