Omar Aldana building platforms for future celebrities
After producing music videos for Jamaican dancehall artistes for approximately seven years, Belize-born director Omar Aldana, better known as Celebrity of Heavy Films, has become more interested in the platforms available locally for others like him.
Celebrity says that the video production brand was not recognised due to misconceptions that it was a Jamaica-based company owned by Heavy D Promotions.
"At the time, the name of Tommy Lee Sparta's manager (Heavy D) has caused tons of confusion," said Celebrity. "It was not something I spoke out about because of the lack of a platform."
Music videos for the former Gaza artiste, including those released for Some Bwoy, Buss A Blank, Maniac, and Psycho, were all recorded and produced by Heavy Films, but oftentimes Heavy D was credited. He has also shot videos for Vybz Kartel, Charly Black, KipRich, and Beenie Man.
Celebrity says that most of his work is acquired from repeat clients, and that to date, he has shot about 30 music videos. The video director is currently in Jamaica working on music videos for singles recorded on the 'Global Warming' riddim created by a Canada-based producer White Gad Records, as well as promoting his puppet, Thugzbunny. The puppet is garnering a lot of attention from the dancehall community.
NEW LIFE TO INDUSTRY
"I am trying to bring new life to the industry,
trying to be a trendsetter. I do not like clichÈ concepts or artistes. That's why I like working with Tommy Lee - there is only one of him. The subjects need to be like a fresh canvas."
One of his goals was to get artistes off the streets in Belize to show that one can have a successful career in the country.
"It was always thought that for Belizeans to 'buss', you have to leave the country or start a career elsewhere," said Celebrity.
Although Celebrity does not live in Belize - the country of his birth - he spends a lot of time there. He does not have any family connections in Jamaica, but considers it part of his goal to create platforms for cultural exchange.
Although the popular music in Belize is called punta, dancehall music is well liked there, and it has always been a genre he enjoyed listening to even after his family relocated to Los Angeles.
"In the next two to five years, I want to see dancehall making the same numbers as reggaeton and hip hop on international charts. Right now, it is more hand to hand - artistes benefit mainly from stage shows and dubplates."
He added that he would also like it to become a more structured industry where artiste's videos get the recognition they deserve.