Saitama, 24 May, 2023: An animated music video by St Austell, Cornwall-based artist and award-winning animator Ignatius Rake has landed second place twice at the 2023 Japan Indies Music Awards in Tokyo. Single-handedly produced for the song ‘Los Molinos’ by Tokyo-based Cornish rapper MC Franker, the video scooped silver in both the Best Punk & Garage and Best Hip Hop categories, missing out on a Ninja, as the awards are known, to videos for big-name US punk band The Offspring and US rapper Ellect, respectively.
“Congratulations to all those behind the Offspring and Ellect videos and indeed everyone else who put on or entered this year’s Japan Indies Music Awards,” Ignatius says. “Obviously, I would like to have landed top laurels at the bash but the fact ‘Los Molinos’ got selected by the judges, let alone nominated for a Ninja twice, is a massive honour and a real reward in itself.”
Unlike other music video producers, Ignatius doesn’t have some big-budget team to work with. Instead, he does everything himself, from dreaming up the initial concept to creating all the artwork, animating each single frame and then editing and colour grading the final result. “Fortunately, MC Franker had written a really strong song with some very biting lyrics that were pretty easy to translate into imagery. So, from that point of view, this was a relatively straight-forward piece to make,” he says.
“That said, it still took innumerable hours of hard work and concentration, so it’s really encouraging to get a big pat on the back like this,” he continues. “I may not have actually bagged a Ninja this year but this is a pretty encouraging result in itself and it’ll only drive me on to make more music videos and hopefully grab gold at next year’s Japan Indies Music Awards.”
Commenting on the news, MC Franker states: “I’ve known Iggy since Sixth Form, so when he said he was making music videos I asked him if he’d do one for ‘Los Molinos’. The song’s about drinking in Tokyo, so I guess it must have hit the right chord with some of the judges. Or maybe it was just the shot of Charlestown harbour used in the video. Either way, I’m well chuffed it landed second place twice.”
A true visionary
Held at the world famous Shibuya Milky Way Showroom in central Tokyo this past May 17, the 2023 Japan Indies Music Awards were hosted by legendary radio DJ Mike Rogers and featured an international judging panel headed by American new wave singer Josie Cotton. “Actually, I was surprised that Ignatius Rake didn’t win a prize, but the competition was fierce,” Mike says. “Maybe Ignatius didn’t win because his videos are too far-flung into the future… the sign of a true visionary!”
With live sets from top Japanese indie bands Jett Sett, The Floppy-Pinkies and Tetsuko, the prestigious event drew a slew of entries from creators across the globe, all vying for top gongs in six different music video categories, viz Rock, Pop, Punk & Garage, Hip Hop, Electronica and Other. “Officially, this was the [Awards’] fourth year, but the first two festivals were cancelled due to Covid,” Mike notes. “That really messed me up. But, like the indie musicians who give it their all, we can never give up and we all must keep on following our dreams!”
In addition to ‘Los Molinos’, Ignatius had two other music videos selected for the Japan Indies Music Awards: ‘She’s So Spector-Esque’ by St Austell-based ska and soul stalwart Andy Keys Clark and ‘Still Dead After All These Years’ by Poland-based guitar band Dead Members. All three videos can be watched online at his Ninjin Art website (https://www.ninjinart.com/video/#music) and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@ninjinart).
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Notes to Editors
1) Cornwall, UK-based Ignatius Rake specialises in making music-driven films, videos and animations. To date, he has worked with artists, bands and musicians in and from the UK, Poland and Japan, including SaiakuNana, Hinano Niimi and members of Madness and Dexys Midnight Runners among others. In 2022, he won a Special Award at the 12th Unco Film Festival in Tokyo for his Japanese-language animation ‘Unco Daisuki’. His animation work employs digital collages that he makes himself and which blend photographic realism with the physiologically impossible. In doing so, they jump from the Cliff of Repulsion into the Uncanny Valley, a world the Japanese call kimo-kawaii, or adorably gross.
2) MC Franker is a Cornwall-born DJ, rapper and hip-hop producer based in central Tokyo. Known for his keen wit and wordplay, he sometimes sports a beard and is a regular patron of only the finest spaghetti bars on Earth.
3) Japan Indies Music Awards organiser Mike Rogers is the host of the Mike Rogers Show, which airs on 55 FM radio stations across 19 countries, including Love FM 76.1 in Japan and WFMU in New York.
4) The Japan Indies Music Awards is a sister festival to the Japan Indies Film Festival and Raindance Japan. More information, including a list of winners, can be found here: https://filmfreeway.com/NinjaIndiesMusicVideoAwards
Press Contact: Ignatius Rake.
Picture credits: Ignatius Rake/Ninjin Art.
Interviews and high-resolution photographs available on request.