Directors : Jean-Baptiste Lefournier & Camille Bovier Lapierre / Production : Digiprod
from album "City Never Sleeps" available on iTunes : Itune

Check VFX Breakdown here : vimeo.com/89975296
Shot on 5D Mk III (Magic Lantern RAW) + Canon 24-70 mm F2.8 L
1st Assistant : Chris Vandelet
Producer : Louis Houdoin
Production Assistant : Mélanie Caillaud
Director of Photography : William Hulin
Steadicam Operator : Benjamin Groussain
Production Designer : Jules Faraldo
Stylist : Isabelle Bardot
Make Up : Adeline Cavalière
- POST -
VFX-Compositing / Matte Paintings : JBL + CBL
Additional Senior VFX Operator : Fabrice Faure
Color Grading : Jean-Baptiste Lefournier (based on Osiris LUT by Vision Color)

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City never sleeps, 2014 – Hyperphoto by Jean-François Rauzier x Beat Assailant

Bio

Today there’s no need to introduce Beat Assailant. Based in Paris for several years, the most American of French rappers has performed and collaborated with the cream of the crop of local rap and soul artist from Ben l’Oncle Soul to Oxmo Puccino. Over the course of his four albums, he’s left a permanent stamp on French groove with his crossbreed of rap, funk, soul and electro. Today he’s back with City Never Sleeps, a philosophical and classy urban manifesto.

City Never Sleeps establishes itself on the musical path of Adam Turner, here acting as both the narrator and main character of this urban epic that radiates pavement, speed, pressure and noise. Forever an urbanite, whether in Miami, Atlanta or Paris, he steps into the shoes of a young man faced with a choice: the path to easy money or to fight for something more in line with his dreams. “I wanted to tell an urban tale, to evoke the pressure, loneliness among millions, the anonymity of the city and its noisy congestive personality,” explains the artist. And that he does. Over the course of this fast-paced journey, the city and its paradoxes fight over the leading man and his story, to the point of almost becoming the inspired tale’s main character.

After having previously called on a number of different producers, the rapper tightened the recording sessions around Nicolas Gueguen, his keyboardist and a fellow traveler on this journey from its very beginning. After a year of work and a great deal of strikes in all senses of the word, City Never Sleeps creates an atmosphere which sticks to its subject, carried by the exciting single ‘’Run’’ (composed and performed by the Beatmakers Montmartre). The consistent production of this urban mass gives the story a lively originality and a human side, from the modernist beats of ‘’All the Way’’ and the groove blend of ‘’Take It Slow’’ to the elusive melodies ‘’One Wish,’’ sustained by the voice of Ben l’Oncle Soul. Pierced by the skilful scratches of Mr. Viktor (DMC world champion 2013), City Never Sleeps presents a rich and creative story within a story of modern urbanity. A coherent entity of music, sound and meaning that is given profound depth by the rapper’s succinct, flexible flow and his narrative, poetic writing. What if the city were really alive?

Thomas Blondeau

Discography

CITY NEVER SLEEPS

All titles produced by Nicolas Gueguen for Kromatik, except RUN produced by Montmartre (Hugo Laboulandine & Alexandre Massé) for MM Music album (P) & (C) Beat Assailant Incorporated & Sweet Guru Productions - 2014

Discover the complete discography on Deezer & Itune

City never sleeps

When Hip hop meets contemporary art.

About Jean-François Rauzier, we know huge Hyperphotos, which embark us in a fantastic world where cities become magic. About Beat Assailant, we know his flow, with a groove tinged of jazz, funk and electro hints. The release of the album City Never Sleeps is an opportunity for a rich and surprising collaboration between the rapper and the contemporary artist, between beat and photography. When Beat Assailant discovered the huge Jean-François Rauzier’s walk of Time Square, he definitely chose (the title of one of his songs) City Never Sleeps, as the name of his album. Through their collaboration, an amazing Hyperphoto was born ! It measures 50 meters in length, with more than 10 000 photos inside and several references to the album. It is the beginning of the City Never Sleeps adventure, an amazing art project ! In this photo, the colors of the album resonate. Beat Assailant plays different parts, hides with Jean-François Rauzier inside the photograph of New York and makes it the city which never sleeps. The album cover is posted on the back of some characters (1), the lyrics of City Never Sleeps replace the advertising strips (2) and some urban scenes (3) responds to the message delivered by the album. Now it’s your turn to find Beat Assailant and Jean-François Rauzier, to enter their world by clicking and zooming on this picture of an unreal megalopolis !

Collaboration

Crossed interview between Beat Assailant (AKA ADAM Turner) and Jean-François Rauzier.

JEAN-FRANCOIS RAUZIER QUESTIONS BEAT ASSAILANT :

JFR :

How do you express your interest in contemporary creation ?

BA :

For my music obviously and foremost. But I'm also a fan of contemporary culture, pop culture in its various expressions: architecture, photography, cinematography. I recently had the opportunity to discover the architecture of Barcelona. ​I am very sensitive to the design of spaces and objects, and I try to enjoy the cultural offerings of Paris to the fullest.

JFR :

Is there an image by a photographer or an artist that particularly marked you?

BA :

Most of the photographs that are embedded in my memory have something to do with slavery or the movement for civil rights in the United States. For example, the photo of Bill Hudson showing a black high school student being attacked by a police German Shepherd. This picture has played a major role in arousing public opinion in the civil rights movement. It shows the power of photography.

JFR :

What does image bring to music according to you (and conversely)?

BA :

I enjoy the covers of the vinyl collection of my parents, and I grew up in the era of video with MTV. However now visuals have taken even more space in musical projects. Beyond the covers, images of your music come to life on YouTube for example. You really have to think about the visual world that goes with your music, this is a key part of your project. I also think that music may be the art form that best complements other works of art. Think of what silent cinema became through music. Music is an art that puts the public in a state of mind that can serve a movie, a ballet or any other artistic creation.

JFR :

What was your reaction when you discovered the image City Never Sleeps for the first time ?

BA :

Wow. It was more than I could have ever imagined. It's a universe that fits perfectly with the album and I immediately wanted to dive in and start searching for all the hidden gems in the hyperphoto.

JFR :

Have you collaborated with artist (other than musician) what does it bring to you ?

BA :

Beyond what I've done with graphic designers who are used to creating album covers, this is the first time I've really worked with an artist who's coming from outside the world of music.

BEAT ASSAILANT QUESTIONS JEAN-FRANCOIS RAUZIER :

BA :

How do you express your interest for music ? What are your musical habits ?

JFR :

It depends on the period: I intensively and exclusively listened to classical music during 10 years. I started with baroque music and finished with contemporary, including a long time when I listened to jazz, then no more recorded music but only lives. Currently, I have many season tickets (Bastille and Garnier opera), and I listen to all kinds of music on Spotify in my studio.

BA :

What is the ideal playlist of your day ?

JFR :

I am a little bit obsessive: this week, I only listened to Carla Bley, last week it was Bashung, the week before the Bianca Story, Oliver Koletzki, Albin de la Simone, Mazzy Star, Agnès Obel, the Do, Noze, Mansfield, London Grammar, Carmen Maria Vega, Paul Kalkbrenner, 2raumwohnung, Babx, Nick Cave, Sophie Hunger, Austra, Toru Takemitsu, U2, Bertrand Belin, Gato Barbieri, and of course Beat Assailant, as I work on this project...

BA :

What song left its mark on you ?

JFR :

There are so many... I will probably refer to youth memories, as rock and pop music skyrocketed (shot up ?) at the end of the sixties. So I would choose the firsts albums of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin... Oh and, one day in 1968, I heard that the hippie movement was born, and the radio played If you’re going to San Fransisco, by Scott McKenzie... Unforgettable! One has to live this moment to understand...

BA :

What does music bring into your work?

JFR :

My photographs are dreams set down on reality. Some elements, which are repeated, juxtaposed, reversed, as some music notes. I see chords and fugues through pictures. I need to listen to music when I’m working. When I listen to Philip Glass’ repetitive music or to Paul Kalkbrenner’s Techno, I surprise myself putting and moving the elements of my photograph at the pace of the music.

BA :

What does City Never Sleeps inspire you ?

JFR :

When I listened to the album, I was working on New York. Its very urban and jazzy sound perfectly matched with this city and especially with City never sleeps and City of millions at Time Square. Adam had the same feeling. We were in harmony before we met or heard each other. The stories told by Adam in his new album make me want to go further, to find what is going on behind the windows, inside the head of people in the picture...

Collaboration

Crossed interview between Beat Assailant (AKA ADAM Turner) and Jean-François Rauzier.

JEAN-FRANCOIS RAUZIER QUESTIONS BEAT ASSAILANT :

JFR :

How do you express your interest in contemporary creation ?

BA :

For my music obviously and foremost. But I'm also a fan of contemporary culture, pop culture in its various expressions: architecture, photography, cinematography. I recently had the opportunity to discover the architecture of Barcelona. ​I am very sensitive to the design of spaces and objects, and I try to enjoy the cultural offerings of Paris to the fullest.

JFR :

Do you have an image of a photographer or an artist which particularly marked you ?

BA :

Most of the photographs that are embedded in my memory have something to do with slavery or the movement for civil rights in the United States. For example, the photo of Bill Hudson showing a black high school student being attacked by a police German Shepherd. This picture has played a major role in arousing public opinion in the civil rights movement. It shows the power of photography.

JFR :

What the image brings to the music according to you (and conversely)?

BA :

I enjoy the covers of the vinyl collection of my parents, and I grew up in the era of video with MTV. However now visuals have taken even more space in musical projects. Beyond the covers, images of your music come to life on YouTube for example. You really have to think about the visual world that goes with your music, this is a key part of your project. I also think that music may be the art form that best complements other works of art. Think of what silent cinema became through music. Music is an art that puts the public in a state of mind that can serve a movie, a ballet or any other artistic creation.

JFR :

What was your reaction when you discovered the image City Never Sleeps for the first time ?

BA :

Wow. It was more than I could have ever imagined. It's a universe that fits perfectly with the album and I immediately wanted to dive in and start searching for all the hidden gems in the hyperphoto.

JFR :

Have you already collaborated with artists (other than musicians)? What it brings you?

BA :

Beyond what I've done with graphic designers who are used to creating album covers, this is the first time I've really worked with an artist who's coming from outside the world of music.

BEAT ASSAILANT QUESTIONS JEAN-FRANCOIS RAUZIER :

BA :

How do you express your interest for music ? What are your musical habits ?

JFR :

It depends on the period: I intensively and exclusively listened to classical music during 10 years. I started with baroque music and finished with contemporary, including a long time when I listened to jazz, then no more recorded music but only lives. Currently, I have many season tickets (Bastille and Garnier opera), and I listen to all kinds of music on Spotify in my studio.

BA :

What is the ideal playlist of your day ?

JFR :

I am a little bit obsessive: this week, I only listened to Carla Bley, last week it was Bashung, the week before the Bianca Story, Oliver Koletzki, Albin de la Simone, Mazzy Star, Agnès Obel, the Do, Noze, Mansfield, London Grammar, Carmen Maria Vega, Paul Kalkbrenner, 2raumwohnung, Babx, Nick Cave, Sophie Hunger, Austra, Toru Takemitsu, U2, Bertrand Belin, Gato Barbieri, and of course Beat Assailant, as I work on this project...

BA :

What song left its mark on you ?

JFR :

There are so many... I will probably refer to youth memories, as rock and pop music skyrocketed (shot up ?) at the end of the sixties. So I would choose the firsts albums of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin... Oh and, one day in 1968, I heard that the hippie movement was born, and the radio played If you’re going to San Fransisco, by Scott McKenzie... Unforgettable! One has to live this moment to understand...

BA :

What does music bring into your work?

JFR :

My photographs are dreams set down on reality. Some elements, which are repeated, juxtaposed, reversed, as some music notes. I see chords and fugues through pictures. I need to listen to music when I’m working. When I listen to Philip Glass’ repetitive music or to Paul Kalkbrenner’s Techno, I surprise myself putting and moving the elements of my photograph at the pace of the music.

BA :

What does City Never Sleeps inspire you ?

JFR :

When I listened to the album, I was working on New York. Its very urban and jazzy sound perfectly matched with this city and especially with City never sleeps and City of millions at Time Square. Adam had the same feeling. We were in harmony before we met or heard each other. The stories told by Adam in his new album make me want to go further, to find what is going on behind the windows, inside the head of people in the picture...

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