Wiser than gods and mortal men
April 2024

Technicolor Dreams: Mélat's ‘So Help Me God’ AI-Infused Music Video

Still from So Help Me God" by Melat.

Mélat tells stories of love in all its facets - whether romantic or platonic, beginning or ending - because love is, in her eyes, the only truth. Born and bred in the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin, Texas, this first-generation Ethiopian-American is the eclectic soul of modern r&b.

She released her newest album, “Canon Metis: Wiser Than gods And mortal men,” last year. In the music video for one of her latest singles, "So Help Me God", from this album, Mélat and her team used Kaiber to create a dream-like quality in the visuals.

Q: How do you describe yourself as a creative?

I am a musician first and foremost, but in today's world, we have to be more than that. The modern creative has to be multi-faceted. I would describe myself as a multi-hyphenate. I am willing to use the creative avenues available to spread my message of love with music at its core.

Q: What inspires you?

A: The good, the bad, and the ugly of our daily lives inspires my creativity. My love of jazz, video games, my Ethiopian heritage, technology, movies, and the heartbreaks, loves, longing and reunions of the people around me inspire it all. Beyond that, my unshakeable belief in the power of good and love drives my perspective.

Q: How has the response been to “So Help Me God"?

A: We're just super excited, and the response has been incredible. People are blown away, saying things like, "Oh my God, this is so cool." We were unsure about how people would respond to using AI technology, like Kaiber. We wondered if the reactions would be positive or negative, but fortunately, it's been nothing but great responses.

Q: Can you share how you discovered Kaiber and the creative process behind incorporating it into your video?

A: We found Kaiber through Matt Wolfe, who has used it before and talked about it on his channel. Once we decided on Kaiber, the creative process involved experimenting with different prompts, cutting the video into sections, and refining the results through multiple runs.

Q: You used a blend of AI and Traditional Film; how big was your team?

A: The film team consisted of a videographer, the person in the music video, and a makeup artist. They all loved the final product as we were initially unsure if we could use the footage we filmed. I had tons of incredible footage just sitting on my hard drives...What's truly rewarding is giving these photos and videos, ones I've invested so much in, a new life in Kaiber, adding features and unique tweaks I can't replicate elsewhere.

Q: How did you approach the editing process when using Kaiber for the video, and were there any challenges?

A: We cut the video into sections and ran each through Kaiber with different prompts. We had to make sure the right pieces aligned correctly and avoiding frames that looked off, but the process wasn't overly complicated. Just the typical work within an editing tool.

Promotional still for her latest album.

Q: In what way do you see AI evolving, and how has it impacted your work as an independent artist?

A: AI, like Kaiber, is in its infancy, and I believe it will become a valuable tool for artists. It helps achieve creative visions within budget constraints and helped salvage footage that we were unsure It’s happening already! AI's evolution is similar to the early perceptions of the internet. Just as the internet has far surpassed initial expectations, AI is evolving rapidly. The future holds more possibilities than we can imagine.

Q: How have you used your connection to Austin to your advantage as an artist?

A: Despite considering leaving at times, Austin has been a crucial part of my identity as an artist. I aim to show that R&B music can thrive in Austin and challenge stereotypes about the city's music scene. I've been involved with organizations like Austin FC, American Gateways, and Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. These initiatives allow me to bridge gaps between my Ethiopian heritage and Austin, contributing to local communities and causes.

Still from "So Help Me God", utilizing Kaiber's Transform feature.

Q: How do you envision the future of your career, and what message do you want to convey through your music and advocacy?

I aim to continue breaking stereotypes and showing that R&B can thrive in Austin. Through my music and advocacy, I want to contribute positively to my community and use my platform to support causes that are meaningful to me.

You can visit Mélat’s website here or stream her latest album here.

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Q&A with R&B Singer Mélat.