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What's Your Instinct: Director Of Controversial Pop-Music Video Set At A London Slamming Party Talks With Instinct

When YouTube comments get disabled, you know things are getting heated. Such was the YouTube fate for "Trust," a new music video from nascent U.K. pop-artist Chrstiantoshi. Directed by Mikko Makela, the video finds itself set in infamy: a London Slamming Party (which we first talked about in June 2013). Critics charge that "Trust" glamorizes the intense drug-infused sex events while supporters contend that it's art and the message lies in the eye of the beholder. With debates raging in various corners of the web and an exigent topic at the center of the conversation, we asked Mikko to expand on "Trust."

How'd you guys come up with the idea for the video?

Christianoshi came to me with the idea of setting the video at a "chill-out", a concept I immediately liked because I hadn't seen it done before and thought it would work well as a sort of darker spin on the whole genre of music videos set at house parties. Though it did take some discussion to decide how explicit the video would end up being, we did from early on agree that in it we wanted particularly to document the types of parties written about recently, for example, by VICE magazine, and were both intent on making a video that would elicit a reaction and get people talking whilst still being grounded in reality. Another issue we wanted to address with the video was the severe imbalance in the way the two sexes and their bodies are represented in contemporary music videos, their focus being very much on women's scantily clad and objectified bodies flaunted by many a male artist in their videos. In 'Trust', the camera's view, like the partygoers' voyeuristic gaze, is strictly confined to the male body.
 

Is there a message about Slamming Parties that the team wanted to convey?

We first and foremost wanted to make a video that documents a phenomenon rather than makes any explicit comment on it. I don't want to tell people what to think; I rather want to get them thinking and let them reach their own conclusions. That said, the song's lyrics about needing to have "trust, for what we're about to do" do become very meaningful when set against the images. Whilst the video isn't a straight-out visualization of the song, what for me from the start connected the two, were the themes of intimacy and trust. I haven't been to these kinds of parties myself, but I could certainly draw upon experiences  of going to an afterparty in a group of often complete strangers, feeling worse for wear from the club. Whilst they were non-sexual encounters, opening up to people I didn't know and passing several hours in their company takes trust, and I think the video explores this same idea, though taking it to another level.
 

What do you say to critics who call the video irresponsible and think that it glamorizes these controversial events?

Some people have said that not showing the consequences of this lifestyle and only including attractive guys in the video amounts to sanitizing the phenomenon, but I think what we have captured here is the immediate appeal. If the parties didn't seem inviting in the first place, be it because of drugs or not, guys wouldn't be attending; and portraying this immediate lure, which often becomes problematic in the long term, is a part of our mission to document the phenomenon. Everything looks different if considered within a bigger picture of consequences and implications, and I think that for a lot people the problem with these parties lies with a failure to recognize the unsustainability of such a lifestyle and its negative long-term implications. The video presents a subjective, first-person view of such a party by someone who is stepping into the scene for the first time and is tempted by what he sees in that moment. To ignore the combination of lyrics and visuals, and simply to say that we're glamorizing, would be quite a reductive interpretation of the audiovisual work as a whole.
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Check out the video below (graphic, NSFW) and let us know what's your Insitnct in the comments?!
 

Comments

with the right DJ this track has potential to have a good remix now sounds kinda lame!!

Im sorry most of yall are so judgemental and close minded and have very boring sex lives. No one asked yall to join the party. Everyone should be able to enjoy what they want without being opressed and judged by fucktards. Some people can control themselves and enjoy it. Oh well to each his own

Its not judgment, its fact. You just haven't got there yet, but you will. Ones who needs drugs to have a good sex life...that's boring. I have a GREAT sex life without drugs.  Seems your the oppressed. They all start out thinking they can control themselves. Have a good time.

See you in rehab, yall.

Idiots!

I'd be more impressed if I didn't know crew on that shoot and yes, some of the performers were high on meth during it.

What a boner shrinker

....what a bullshit song and vid! Nobody needs that,  without a context than the regular gay-life-style-fuckery-shit  is all about! You must be very dumb person to like this shit!!!

Thank god life is not that simple like the song and the vid proclaims!!!

I don't care about the video controversy, the song just isn't that good.

 Lets redo this video with a flash into the future a few years later. You'll see the same bathhouse with the same guys... but instead you'll see aged wasted skeletons turned drug dealers still trying to live the fantasy, a void where several guys died in GHB overdoses, and if your lucky.... a few standing outside a NA meeting drinking coffee trying to stay sober. But, it sure looks glamorous.

Tragic that this goes on. And to glamorize it? Get a clue! If you don't o.d., good luck with losing your life, and that rehab thing. Addiction is hell, and not to be sugar coated. Totally destructive mindset--"Aren't we the cool ones?" Why can't guys enjoy hot mansex without the drugs? What's the point of being zoned out, detached, numb and dumb? NOT SEXXY.

....as an older person, this was disturbing to me.   It links two things that should no longer be linked because of the dangers involved: drugs and sex.   It's irresponsible.    The drug use is bad enough, but to mix sex in with it is even more potentially damaging.   The song itself is actually good.   The theme will keep me from buying or enjoying it.

if at least the people looked like normal regular men and it wasn't as seductively lit, i could get behind it. as it is, it's just a gay version of the kind of soft porn women have been objectified in for decades. the whole "hey, they do it, too, so why can't we" is the sort of argument that doesn't even fly when you're a seven-year-old, let alone when you're meant to be an adult. it's cynical, and it sends a shiver down my spine (and not in a good way)

Song sucks as badly as the message in the video.

The needle thing is only thing that I thought was to much 

So lets just send the gay men's community back 40 years.we're not all uber fit,powder snorting sex fiends.Really getting tired of seeing our image being portrayed like this.not exactly helpful for the younger generation of lbgt's.

I agree with you that we should be finding a higher ground, and better examples for younger gay folk.

lmao that's such crap! young gay folk don't care one bit what older gays think. its the elder generation's fault that the gay community is so age-centric, masculine is best, and the reason Fire Island is still infamous. 

Is there more to gay men then just sex and drugs

I've slammed. It was one of many ways that I got high. I enjoyed them all, as well as the men I met and the sex we had. But for me it was just one chapter in a life's journey that now seems me happily settled in at home with a partner and six cats. The song's not memorable but the memories the filming recalls, are.

I didnt watch the whole thing. Gonna be hard but not going to relapse!!!! Slamming and pnp is awesome, i miss the hell out of it, but it eventually makes you lose everything worth having in life!

Double amen James.  This video just took me back to the years i was a addict.  Wow was it fun but the life it leaves you with after is not worth it.  Clean and sober for 6 years here...Way to go James so proud of you. 

Amen James!!! Been there!

It shows what happens in the beginning but not the after effects. Its a crappy song.

I think its a brave and interesting insight into a REAL occurrence in a subculture. The only issue I have with the video is that it depicts a very skewed idea of gay male body image. In all fairness this video isn't alone in its ridiculous representation of the male body, so its hard to blame them for the same thing that countless media are guilty of.

Super irresponsible. Hate it

I think it's a sensationalist approach to getting people to listen to any otherwise crappy song. Pretty irresponsible if you ask me.

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