Our fave playboy hitman has released his GRITTY + GORGEOUS new vid—”a fantasy whirlwind through NYC, the most romantic city on earth”
A few months after dropping “Baby, You Should Know,” Viktor Longo is closing out the summer on another ‘I <3 NY’ note with the gorgeously gritty // grittily gorgeous music video for the single—out everywhere on the Internet TODAY.
“Smokin’ cigarettes on the fire escape // Watchin’ the fog roll in // Talkin’ ’bout how you just moved to New York City // And you’re ready for your life to finally really begin…”
The song starts off addressing those like… well, like me. New New Yorkers who ran away from home (can you still call it that if you were 28?) and came to the city craving something more. But while we can declare our love for it all day (the word “New York” bounces around my neck 24/7 in obnoxious, shiny gold form), we’ve got a lot to learn. And the video for Longo’s “love letter to New York” not only makes me long for the return of the sounds and smells, crowded sidewalks and beautiful chaos of the NYC I’ve been so lucky to live and love for almost four years, but it makes me wish I could experience the City in a way that I haven’t—and, as a transplant, will never truly be able to: as a local… as someone who’s (*Viktor Longo voice*) from New York…
That being said, this video is, I believe, as close as one can get: five minutes of NYC-perfect sensory overload as we roll through the city with the artist and experience its people and places through the lens of a real, die-hard New Yorker. Experiencing his New York.
A compilation of footage shot on and off city streets, in pubic and private, the video pays homage to both day-to-day New York and its claims to fame, with shots of locals and tourists, the barbershop and the shimmering skyline, unidentified stoops and prime tourist attractions, But perhaps more important than the locations are the interactions. Portions of the video were shot before the pandemic, and along with Longo’s intimate, often goofy, moments with friends it also features—perhaps more powerfully—authentic moments of genuine connection with strangers on the street and behind the deli counter—scenes that would’ve been charming under any circumstances, but now, when these spontaneous, unmasked moments are few and far between, stir up some serious emotions.
Maybe it’s the bad-day fear that we’ll never get back, or maybe it’s the internal knowledge that, in true New-York-strong spirit, we definitely one day we will. But whatever it is… damn, it hits.
“Baby you should see the scars this city has given to me. But baby girl, I wouldn’t trade ’em for the world…“
Before I go off to watch the video another dozen times while writing love letters to my chosen city, I’ll leave you with what’s most important—some background info and perspective from the artist himself, which he shared with me this morning:
“The song and video is a fantasy whirlwind through NYC, the most romantic city on earth. I made it with cinematographers Alejandro Miyashiro (PRAYERS music videos) and Maxwell Sloan (Orange is the New Black). It blends the bittersweet nostalgia of New York with an optimistic and goofy vibe looking towards a bright future. It’s somewhere between dipset video of the 2000s and golden-age Broadway musical of the ’50s.
We started shooting last year [in] November 2019. Our goal was to organically capture the winter into spring season in NYC. When quarantine hit we still were only halfway through collecting footage and had to dump a lot of scene ideas like parties and concerts. We were faced with the decision to give up or… SIIIIKE. Nah, never. We frickin’ knocked it out of the park and shot through the pandemic. Fuck coronavirus.”
Fuck it, for real.
But man, thank god for art. And thank god for New York City—“land of the tough and home of the pretty...”
Check out the video on YouTube here, buy his music on bandcamp and add to your Spotify playlists, and follow him at @viktorlongo.
Engineering + additional production on the song done by Harper James.
Feature image (video thumbnail) provided by the artist.