Perliks

A Perliks Definition: Meet the Filmmaker and Photograher Making Waves in Music and Activism

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“I’m the type of photographer who I sometimes like to call an activist because I speak with my heart.” 

Abdulrasaq Adebayo Babalola popularly known as Perliks, is a strenghtening force in the realms of photography and filmmaking. Propelled by a passion for storytelling and a commitment to socially impactful projects, he started his creative career at 17, shadowing his father on music video shoots. He has now worked with big names across the industry including Burna Boy, Rema and Kizz Daniel.  

One of Perliks’ most notable contributions lies in his dedication to creating awareness for environmental issues, particularly plastic pollution. In 2021, he unleashed the powerful “Plastic Angel” project, driven by a deep-seated desire to impact the world. This aimed to shed light on the detrimental effects of plastic pollution, showcasing his ability to merge artistic expression with activism, creating an impact that spread worldwide. 

Perliks believes in creating without limitations, daring to think outside the box and conveying messages through his art—transcending from photography to directing. He continues to redefine artistic prowess in both static and moving pictures. Perliks constantly keeps growing and redefining his art. In this interview, we discuss his artistic journey, the inspiration behind Project Angel and his “Perliks definition” for a reason. 
 

Before music direction, what were you up to? 

I started as a photographer in 2020 and in 2021, I had a project that went viral. International blogs were publishing my project about plastic pollution .  

How did you start music direction? 

For me as a music director,  It’s obviously a family thing. My dad used to be a Fuji music video director. So he introduced me to the industry that was in 2011/ 2012  and then I became a Fuji music video editor. Later I got bored of the Fuji videos so I started screenshotting pictures, getting stills from the videos editing them. 

What do you love about being on set?  

I like the creative process. I enjoy the creative process that goes into directing a music video. The challenges and creativity makes it all worthwhile. 

When a client calls you for a job, how do you find inspiration for the job? 

So for me, when it comes to music videos, what I first think about is that the music video is not about me, like a particular project is not about me. It is about the artist, the brand impacting the song. So first, I first remove myself from it, then I move ahead to listen to the song, try to understand the picture the artist wants to create and most importantly, the message the artist was trying to pass across because there are different kinds of songs; there are some songs that make you feel good others have the theme of love, life lessons etc. Once I understand a story, it guides me to infuse my Perliks touch to it.  

It’s very important to not see directing a music video as an opportunity to get your own visibility to the point it affects the storyline of the music. When the audience enjoys the music video, they will search for you and you will get the visibility you desire.  

During your early days as a music director, what were major challenges you faced?  

The first thing was getting clients that was the major problem. Getting people to believe in you, your vision for their project and even giving you a feasible budget to work with was not an easy step and I think this hurdle is relatable by many young directors in the business.  

Having an idea on what to do was never an issue, I get inspired easily. My first breakthrough was through my friend who allowed me to direct his first official music video, he just got signed. He believed in my vision and gave me the contract. 

Do you have a specific price for shooting your videos?  

For me, I do not have a specific price or range, I charge based on the music and concept for the project. An artist who wants a grand music video, should have a budget that can accommodate the concept. I also don’t charge based on the artist that contacted me; I’m bias free. If you are an A-list/B-list artist, it doesn’t influence my pricing.  

Walk me through the process, once you are done directing on set, what’s next? 

There is still a lot that goes on after the pre production that’s the post production stage. You have to submit your clips to the editor for preview. Check the sound design, the text, color grading, the editing has to be in tune with what the artist wants because you can’t move forward if the artist doesn’t approve of the clips. Once all that is settled, you need to get to work to ensure the video is ready and sent on the delivery date as earlier discussed.

  

Back to photography, what was the inspiration behind Project Angel? 

I’m the type of photographer who I sometimes like to call an activist because I speak with my heart. So, no matter how overwhelming my photographic projects are, there’s always a message in it. I like telling stories from my heart and that can be seen in my music videos so with my project, Project Angel, plastic pollution is a problem in Nigeria which we don’t pay enough attention to and in as much as I made this project about plastic pollution, I can’t totally remove myself from the situation and that’s as a result of little mediums created to dispose plastics properly. Every human comes across or makes use of at least one plastic a day and I can tell you for a fact that 95% do not trash their plastics the right way and when we fail to get rid of plastics properly, they become harmful to the ecosystem. I initially did a project called IO which spoke about plastic pollution but I wanted to create more awareness so I embarked on Project Angel.  

I got the inspiration for the art itself when I watched a movie called “Dominion” and in the movie, God’s wings popped out and I told myself I’m going to create angel wings from plastic. I told my mum and friends about the idea and they encouraged me to go ahead. I reached out to mentor Benjamin to guide me on how to make this project possible and I decided to include the community as well because this topic of plastic pollution concerns everyone. I got the idea for the project in 2019 and I executed it in 2021. 

 Do you plan on embarking on more photography projects? 

Definitely! More projects to raise awareness about plastic pollution because there can never be too much awareness about plastic pollution.  

For a lot of fast rising music directors out there, how can they start and create a unique brand for themselves? 

I’m not really big on giving advice because I feel like every human has a different path in life, however if I am to advise new music directors coming into the industry, I would say build a personal brand that will reflect your personality. Believe in yourself and upload your personal values, don’t try to change for anyone. Always be eager to learn more about where the business/industry is headed. Don’t be afraid to come up with new ideas, you can become a source of inspiration to other directors with your ideas. Learn to tell stories with your videos because that’s what promotes longevity of the music.  

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