MP3 VIDEO: N3ptune & Rusty Steve’s “Shadow” [Premiere]
Welcome to MP3 VIDEO, your exclusive gateway to the world of musical aesthetics and storytelling. This series aims to bring you closer to your favorite artists through the magical lens of music videos. Here, we’ll not just premiere the latest music videos, but also delve into the creative process, narrative themes, and unique visual elements that elevate the musical experience.
N3ptune & Rusty Steve‘s “Shadow,” is as catchy as it is provocative, a balancing act on full display in the ominous, intoxicating music video that accompanies the new single. The video, produced by Manmade Media Studio in Colorado, features everything you’d want from a music-cinema experience: stunning neon lights, eccentric dance choreography, and a shamelessly erotic wardrobe to boot.
Given the lyrical context of “Shadow,” — which revolves around the problematic divergence between real life and an increasingly digital world — the performative nature of the video, along with the stark lyrics, provides a subtle disposition toward the status quo and a place to escape from it all.
In this exclusive video premiere, MP3 MAG spoke with N3ptune and Rusty Steve about “Shadow”‘s inspiration, what to expect from their forthcoming Sophomore album, their own personal relationships with social media and much more. See what they had to say and check out the “Shadow” music video, below.
In this exclusive video premiere, MP3 MAG spoke with N3ptune and Rusty Steve about “Shadow”‘s inspiration, what to expect from their forthcoming Sophomore album, their own personal relationships with social media, and much more. Discover what N3ptune and Rusty Steve had to say, and check out the Official “Shadow” Music Video below:
“Shadow” speaks on the tumultuous relationship Gen X & Gen Z have with the pervasive social media domination permeating every facet of our lives. Can you shed some light on your personal relationship with social media?
N3ptune: Oh absolutely! My generation (Gen Z) is who I’m referring to as Generation Fucked. In my experience, social media has been bile for my mental health, but pivotal for my career. Gen Z uses social media to cope with reality, and it’s unfortunate that the very tools that can change our lives for the better can ruin us in process. I have a toxic relationship with social media.
Rusty Steve: I’m still figuring out what the long-term effects of being on social media since I was about 10 will be, it’s hard to say until I get there. I do know it’s unhealthy for me though, the times in my life where I’ve been off it for extended amounts of time have felt clearer, and I’ve been able to be more present. At this point, I’m honestly not trying to have a relationship with social media. I just want real relationships.
Any advice you would like to give to people about establishing a healthy relationship with social media instead of letting the digital world rule our everyday lives?
N3ptune: I feel like my advice is going to be the advice I should be taking my damn self! Give yourself a certain amount of time to be on social media. Do what you gotta do (post, promote, interact) and then get the fuck off! When we occupy our time with healthy REAL LIFE activities, hobbies, human interaction and time with ourselves, our quality of life is much more enjoyable.
Rusty Steve: That’s difficult to answer because I haven’t been able to establish a healthy relationship with social media, I feel like the majority of people haven’t been able to. The only solution I know that works is being off of it, but that shit’s hard.
Can you give some insight into the choreography for “Shadow” and why it was essential for this song to have a dance routine integrated into the listening experience?
N3ptune: The choreo is intense, it’ll whoop yo ass for real! It whoops mine! Shadow is true club music, and was created to make the listener move — so the choreography had to be just as palpable as the song itself. Dance challenges in music is nothing new, but the intention behind it is what sets this apart. Shadow is about embracing the shadow self instead of suppressing it. The track speaks from the P.O.V. of the shadow. When we integrate our shadow selves, we create balance. Thats the art in this dance routine: We’re dancing as the side of ourselves that we’re all most afraid of, and we’re finding liberation in every step.
Rusty Steve: I can’t speak on it much cuz N3ptune did all the choreography, I just know it’s always a spectacle. he also taught me part of it, and it’s a lot of fun!
Why do you think people have a tendency to avoid their shadow self, and how can we learn to embrace that, instead?
N3ptune: Fear. When you’re faced with the version of yourself that scares you, I don’t think everyone’s first instinct is to integrate that. Even if people don’t know the term “Shadow Self,” which was coined by Carl Jung, they know they have a dark side. When it comes to embracing the Shadow, there’s a quote from Robert A. Johnson that says, “To honor and accept one’s own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole-making and thus holy and the most important experience of a lifetime.” Instead of rebuking, shunning and demonizing this side of ourselves, we can embrace it by giving it love. There’s also shadow work, which includes journaling with specific prompts, meditation, having conversations with yourself and, for some, just doing things that make you feel like a happy kid again.
There are tons of iconic shots in the “Shadow” music video — do you have a favorite?
N3ptune: This question is evil. Making me pick a favorite — this is nasty work! With that said, I do have a few. I love the shot of Rusty and me posing on the turn table, and Rusty’s gas mask scenes for sure! But I most love scenes where I’m in the red thong. When we were doing the reshoot, I was having a difficult time delivering, performance-wise. I ran to the back, stripped, put on my Homewreckr Lingerie leg sleeves, and wrapped Rusty’s belt around me. Then, when I heard “action,” I was immediately taken over. For me, those scenes ooze liberation. It’s those Internet Slut vibes, and it was definitely one of my strongest takes. Side note there’s a secret scene that was filmed and it’s absolutely FLAWLESS, literally!
Rusty Steve: My favorites are both of our solo shots where the camera is moving in quickly in all sorts of directions. N3ptune has his fancy gloves on, I have my gas mask on. Love that for us.
“Shadow” is just the first taste of your next full-length project, set to release later this year. What made you pick “Shadow” for the lead single?
N3ptune: It only made sense for “Shadow” to be first. The song is undeniable, but in order to understand this era and comprehend the new record as a whole, you have to hear “Shadow.” It sets the tone for what’s coming, but prepares listeners for the unexpected.
Rusty Steve: “Shadow” really embodies all the themes on the album. It’s catchy, and we that track came together very naturally. That’s how you know!
What can you tell us about this upcoming album?
N3ptune: Not much just yet, but it all revolves around “Shadow.” It’s the overarching theme of the record. It’s a safe place where the listeners are able to express their dark side, and vicariously live through the stories it might tell. It’s cinematically large in sound, intricate in production and very toxic. All the dark elements in our first album, Renaissance, come alive here.
Rusty Steve: We’re both growing a lot as artists and people. The music we’ve been creating is reflective of that. It’s a definitive progression from the last project. We’re at that stage in our artistic journey where we’re hungry. I feel like artists’ first few records are their best because they have that hunger.
You’ve got some big performances coming up at Sonic Bloom and Electric Forest in the next few weeks, plus the West Coast ‘Shadow Tour.’ What can fans expect for these summer shows?
N3ptune: Fury! We miss being on stage and we’re taking no prisoners at these shows. We want it! Statements will be made, ass will shake, looks will be served and games will NOT be played. Word on the street is we might be slippin’ new music in our sets. I want to create more MOMENTS, and we will definitely be doing that this summer.
Experience N3ptune and Rusty Steve at Sonic Bloom 2023. Purchase festival passes HERE.