premiere: black in austria: producer salute explores identity in new short film

August 23, 2018
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Being one of the few Black people in a predominantly white space in your formative years is an experience that can shape a person considerably. Austrian-born electronic producer salute uses the potent emotions attached to being one of the few Black faces in Vienna as well of inspiration, turning his music-production into an exercise in cathartic alchemy. His latest EP ‘Condition I’ is a journey home and inward, brought to life visually in his new video for song ‘Honey’.

‘Honey’ shows the producer going back to his hometown of Vienna, “the place that made me the person I am today,” salute told AFROPUNK. salute narrates the video, giving us a personal picture of his childhood hideouts and the city of white faces that still holds a place in his heart. He experienced racism growing up, instilling in him a sense of insecurity that he has managed to excise through his music. The producer believes in the power of using music to work through pain, using himself as proof of its freeing attributes, shown visually in the ‘Honey’ video through frame upon frame of idyllic wide-open spaces that exude a sense of freedom.

“Identity was always something I struggled with, especially in a country with such a minute population of dark-skinned people; I was confronted with racism on a regular basis. and it had an overwhelmingly negative effect on me and my sense of self-worth. Recovering from that has been a difficult journey, one that really took its toll on me, but I am happy it all happened. Vienna is still probably my favourite place in the world.”

salute’s music is entrancing, coursing through your veins, daring you not to move while also being genuinely personal. The producer mention that liking his music is the same as loving himself and the video is a way for him to invite us into that process. ‘Honey’ brings the personal to the forefront as we follow salute through his hometown as he engages with his family and his friends as well as the monuments of Vienna. His own brother Amah shares his own journey as a musician, letting us in on his brother’s influence as the two black boys stand in a field enjoying each other’s company. Unadulterated Black boy joy.

salute gives us music that is an audio tapestry, and the ‘Honey’ video is the vivid detail that formed that irresistible sonic landscape that allows us to dance and to feel. So dance, feel and hopefully heal with this talented producer.