Author: Briana Ellison
On August 11, also his 25th birthday, Los Angeles based artist Iyn Jay debuted the music video for his song “Say My Name Right (SMNR).” The video was directed by Emad Rashidi and produced by Eric Mobley and Cbreeze. The song “SMNR” was released three days ago on August 8.
The music video starts off with a dazed and contemplative looking Iyn Jay walking along a sidewalk, lit from behind by the neon pink lights of a “Hollywood Museum” store. Jay’s broody movements match the slow tempo of the music as it fades in. The warbling music stops suddenly, as the visuals fade to black with “SMNR” in simple, small white lettering. The song quickly returns, with Jay stumbling a few steps before entering a flashback of him and a possible significant other dressed in all white, playing chess on a cliff.
Sonically, “SMNR” features a slow guitar chord paired with an alto techno beat that sounds akin to a person in despair. The music, combined with his partner’s seemingly superior chess skills and a visual of her getting on a train and leaving, sets the tone of unrequited love for this song and video.
Visually, the video is stunning: switching between Jay’s lonely and stumbling walk down the pink-lit sidewalk, the tense cliffside chess game and a monotone shot of Jay and the girl sitting on a sofa. The main theme of both the song and the video is Jay’s confusion as to the nature of their relationship, and the questions he has about whether his partner maintains the same feelings and respect for him as he does for her.
This theme is portrayed in the sidewalk scenes as the shots blur, giving the viewer a sense of the confusing double-vision that Jay is mentally experiencing. And the mysterious and slightly cynical facial expression of his female companion further supports the aching theme.
Jay himself is unbelievably skilled, both in his lyrics and the way he is on camera, demanding a respect that should come automatically in a relationship. Toward the end of the song, he slows the song and his lyrics down significantly, turning from slightly belligerent to reflective, laying out for his partner the two-way respect that should be present in their relationship.
Jay’s flow is flawless and his on-camera movements mesmerizing, as he patiently demands – as the song implies – for everyone to “say my name right.” With the flow and fast lyrics of some of the best rappers out there, there’s no doubt that more of Iyn Jay will be heard of in the near future.
Listen to “Say My Name Right” here.