Before I begin, if you read the title, and thought EAD the Creator sounded familiar, you’re probably right. Responsible for directing Skibii’s hit song ‘Daz how star do’ featuring Teni, and Falz. Donald Eferere is making a name for himself in the Nigerian music industry, also directing videos for Dj Neptune, Sean Tizzle, CDQ, Reekado Banks, Peruzzi, Mayorkun, etc.
Despite the praise from the Nigerian music industry, filmmaking for EAD doesn’t end at music videos. Last month, he premiered a trailer for a short film ‘Dari Ji Mi’ to critical acclaim, bagging an award for “Best Short Film USA Category” at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival. As well as being selected for the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Capital City Black Film Festival, and Queen City Black Film Festival.
I had a little tête-à-tête with the New York Film Academy alum, Donald Eferere, about his journey, breaking into the Nigerian music industry, and making ‘Dari Ji Mi’.
How does it feel getting critical acclaim for ‘Dari Ji Mi’?
It’s amazing. Spending over 15months to finish a short film that was only 11mins long was so overwhelming. But the sleepless nights weren’t a waste of time. I believe there’s so much more to come.
How do you manage to stay centered when dabbling between music videos and short films?
Even though the title that I hold is Director, I consider myself to be a storyteller first. Whether I’m on a film set or “seemingly frivolous” music video, I am solely focused on the story being told. It’s neither one nor the other.
What was your inspiration for Dari Ji Mi?
I had so many friends who had suffered due to bad decisions that were made on their behalf. I wanted to bring awareness to the subject and also to help other young people realize that the choice is theirs.
What’s your goal for the film?
My goal is to inspire. I want to inspire young adults that the choice is theirs. Parents are only around to advise and not to make decisions. Every individual has the right to do what ever they decide to do. I want to
inspire conversations and education. I want to inspire folks to make art, music and film.
‘Daz how Star do’ was a big hit last summer, which of your music videos do you think people are sleeping on?
I’ve been focused on writing my first feature and promoting my short film “Dáriji mi” in festivals. So I haven’t really worked on a lot of music videos but if I had to choose, it will definitely be “Beng Beng” by Trepdee ft. Peruzzi.
You mentioned The RDCYF Brand, what’s your goal with the brand?
“Respect D Creators Young Future” as the name implies. My view point changed significantly after moving to the United States. I intend to use the agency to sign young creators and provide resources that will maximize their talents.
A word for young filmmakers who aim to break into the music industry.
Don’t rush! Don’t settle! I understand the pressure, trust me. I learned that the hard way. Just work on honing your craft and finding your voice, because that way you’ll always derive satisfaction from your work and with time success will come.