Joan Pabon discusses working with King Von for her latest music video “Demon”
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First of all, LONG LIFE AT THE KING VON! These days, there is never a day that he isn’t mourned among his family, fans and community. Since joining the rap game in 2018 with his hit single “Crazy Story,” the OTF (Only The Family) rapper has always displayed a sense of loyalty as well as thoughtful ways with his art. There was a time when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the record on the air. With that in mind, he has literally established himself as one of hip hop’s best young storytellers with this one record. This was one of those first glimpses of its potential. Spawning numerous remixes and two sequels, “Crazy Story” is a memorable memory in Von’s catalog – one that has shown his ability to paint images with sinister boring production as a canvas.
Unfortunately he couldn’t reach his peak, we all knew he was going to mine ASAP. Von had so much to live for and a lot to accomplish for his rise to stardom. He will be truly missed. One thing about King Von was that he always effortlessly delivered his visuals. Working with videographers and directors like Jerry Production, Drew Filmed It, J Visuals and many more, the late O’Block rep was the epitome of “quality over quantity” when it came to to bring his music to life.
Von was taken in too early but he worked before his sunset, dropping his final visual for one of the hit records “Demon” from his debut studio album, Welcome to O’Block, released last year. Joan Pabon of Blank Square Productions was the last director to work with King Von and REVOLT sat down with him to discuss their working relationship, their chemistry, how they created the powerful visual and more. Check out the conversation below!
Tell me about the concept of the “Demon” visual and how it all came together for you and King Von.
Yeah, it was pretty cool how it all happened. We already had the video ready to air about a month before what happened to it in Atlanta. It was decent because working with Von went smoothly the entire way and he knew how he wanted to give the visual representation of his stories.
Von was the type to linger and give everything when it was time to get to work. Did you sort of spearhead the whole thing or was it like a two-headed monster where you both executed ideas equally?
He definitely was! Yes, that was a type of situation where he basically gave me some ideas of what he was thinking in terms of the kind of feelings he wanted the video to give, and I simultaneously gave him my professional thoughts and opinions. about how we can bring it all came to life on set and we went from there, man. It was drugs!
It seems like you’re pretty intentional with who you work with. When did you think, “Yeah, I can really work with that guy here”?
When I first came in contact with Von it was through my team at Blank Square Productions and when they saw what he was trying to do for his video they pretty much felt that I would be perfect for the task of representing society in the best artistic way. So it’s been a start for us, man.
The visual for “Demon” wasn’t the first time you had worked with him. From what I understand, you both shot “Why He Told” and “Wayne Story” back to back, right? How was it?
Yeah bro, these two videos were shot on exactly the same set and it took us 26 hours in total to complete the job. It took us 13 hours per room to complete them, but it was worth it. I got to see him in a different element in a creative way and he really took care of his business so that was solid for me.
Did you say 13 hours a day? Whore ! This is what you call dedication!
Hahaha! Hell yeah bro, that was dope. Even when we weren’t working, Von was working knocking out interviews, doing verses and everything, man. But, all the pieces came together for sure. I really had fun both days being in this type of creative space, you know what I mean?
Indeed! The “Demon” visual, in my opinion, is more than just a classic music video shoot. It’s more of a cinematic masterpiece in a sense. Hats off for helping bring this record to life.
Thanks man, yeah you know that’s what King Von was thorough with: his storytelling. It was just that we edited a short film to match the script. The song was already performed well, we just had to add the icing on the cake honestly. We just wanted viewers to actually feel it. And if you notice at the end, we added Von’s voice in and you can hear him give details of how he wanted it to be done, which also gave more feel to it.
I’ve watched the video about three times already and it definitely adds more substance to the record by being able to see what Von is saying. How does it feel to be part of history being the last director to work with him on a music video?
Sweet and sour – definitely sweet and sour, man. Neither of us saw his death coming, so it went through a loop in me. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him at the level that I have done.
Throughout your work with King Von, have you personally learned anything from him that you could apply to your profession in the future?
Yeah man, working with him taught me to keep going – always keep going. He respected my vision and trusted me like no other artist has, so that’s enough motivation to keep doing what I do as a director to make sure that the messages from these artists are properly worn.
King Von and Joan Pabon clearly did magic together and that was only fair. The amount of hard work they both put into their craft to ensure that we viewers achieve compelling results every time is impressive to say the least.
Watch King Von’s final video “Demon” when it drops and let us know your thoughts. It’s coming soon! VIVE V. ROY!