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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Illus Goes From Superhero to Super Dad in His Video for “Naked”
Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Imagine you’re a superhero, arriving home after a long night of defending your city, and sweeping the streets clean of super villains, but before you can even take off your mask you have to summon up your strength for an even greater role – being a Super Dad.

This is the theme of Connecticut-based hip-hop artist Illus’ video for his latest single, "Naked." The song is off his upcoming album, Another Perfectly Imperfect Beautiful Naked Creation, which features new versions of the songs from his 2016 release, A Perfectly Imperfect Beautiful Naked Creation, and is due out January 14th, 2019.

Adam’s World has the exclusive premiere of the video for "Naked," which stars a masked Illus, and his two sons.

Wanting to know more about all things “Naked,” I caught up with Illus to ask about him about the video, working with his kids, and the qualities that can elevate a dad to “Super Dad” status.

The video for “Naked” features both of your sons in prominent roles. This isn’t the first time you’ve included your kids in your work. What’s been the most rewarding aspect of sharing your art with them, and include them in it?

The most rewarding aspect is capturing a moment in time with my kids doing something creative.

The time we spent together filming this was a lot of fun, and we now have the memory of that, as well as a finished product that we can look back on and enjoy together in the future. This goes for any project I get to do with them.

Creating art and music can be an extremely solitary process – it can be hours, days, and months away from family – so these days, when I consider doing a project I always ask myself, “Is this an experience and a project I can share with my family,” and “will they enjoy it?” If it isn’t, it’s probably not worth my time.

The video kind of resembles your album cover art for A Perfectly Imperfect Beautiful Naked Creation, which features the original version of “Naked” as the first track. How did the concept for the clip come to life? Were you just like, “Take these foam lightsabers and go nuts!”

The album cover represents the whole vibe of the project, and I definitely wanted a video to continue those visuals. On any given day I have dozens of ideas for high concept projects that I usually have no budget or resources for, and even less time, so most never see the light of day. Even this concept of the tired superhero/father coming home from a night of fighting crime to handle parenting responsibilities was much more involved, and I had wanted to do so much more.

The original version of the album was released in 2016, and with work and family responsibilities I just wasn’t able to get any videos done to promote it. So when my man ICBM and I decided to remix the whole project and re-release it, I knew I had to put together some kind of visuals. Even then it took like a year to release it.

So back to your question, my wife was away for a week, or so, and I was on solo daddy-duty. This meant that on top of your typical day-to-day parenting responsibilities I also had to come up with fun ideas while just hanging around the house. So I said, “It’s time to shoot this video.”

Being that the song is called “Naked,” and I had no budget, no help, and very little time to pull this off – because the attention span of a 6 year old and a 2 year old is very short – I figured this is the perfect – and only – time to capture this moment that is about as real life as it gets for me. That’s not me pretending to be tired and beat up.

I actually wanted them to use things other than the foam lightsabers, but in the end that was about all I could handle. {laughs}

Superheroes get feature films made about them. Super dads, however, don’t always get the credit they deserve. Tell everyone about the qualities you feel can elevate a dad to “Super Dad” status.

I have no idea. {laughs}

I think most of us are just doing our best and taking it day by day, trying to be the best parents possible.

I am extremely fortunate to work from home. I was with my kids full-time until they were ready for school, so I got to spend way more time with them than most dads ever do, I am sure. Hopefully that didn’t scar them too much.

I think “Super Dad” status comes with patience, love, empathy, compassion, and trying to provide them with the best life experiences possible so they can grow into even better adults than we are.

You have to have an open mind and heart, and be willing to learn from them, as well, because children have a lot of wisdom to offer. Most parents I know are usually exhausted from life at any given time, so Super Moms and Dads have to push through all of that and be there for their kids no matter what, just like when Spider-Man is feeling too exhausted to battle Doctor Octopus, but gives it his all regardless, and saves the day.

You’ve worked with your kids in other artistic capacities, most notably your Punk Taco graphic novel project, which, from what I’ve read, is getting a part two! What led to you creating Punk Taco, and collaborating with your eldest son on the project?

It had been a long time since I published new material, and I really wanted to do a new graphic novel, but they are extremely time consuming. Like I sad earlier, when I do a project I have to always consider my family, because once I commit to something that means time away from them, and obsessing about things that are nowhere near as important. So when I started kicking around this idea with my son, and he took interest and started contributing and showing enthusiasm for being involved, I figured now would be the time to create an all-ages book about a punk rocking alien taco. {laughs}

It’s been a lot of fun, and it’s given us more time to share even more experiences that I hope he will look back on fondly.

What else is in store for Punk Taco? From what I’ve seen, you’ve been working on crowdfunding, and I know that can be a difficult task.

There’s a lot in store for Punk Taco. Volume 1 just came out this past summer and we are still promoting it, and pushing it, and have sold out of more than 60% of our stock.

We are also halfway through with Volume 2, and plan on launching a new Kickstarter for it in March. We attempted to raise the funds a couple of months ago and came up a little short, so we missed our goal. It’s not easy running these campaigns, and although I’ve done several successful ones you just never know. We will have a lot more to offer in March, and look forward to printing the book in April. We are also working on an animated series, and action figures.

Finally, I know you have a love-hate relationship with music … well, not music, but the business of music. Does the release of the video for “Naked” indicate you’re in a “love” phase, and we might be hearing more from you in 2019?

I do indeed have a love-hate relationship with the business of music, but I love to create.

I am releasing this new version of A Perfectly Imperfect Beautiful Naked Creation, which was completely remixed by ICBM, and sounds like a whole new album to me, and I think people who enjoy what I do will love it. We will release that in January. We are also in the very early stages of developing new material, but I have no idea when that will come to life.

I have yet to do my best work, and I would like to release one album that makes people say “WOW!” so I want to take my time, and make it special. We’ll see what happens.

For more Illus, check out adamwallenta.com, listen to his music on YouTube and Bandcamp, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM  
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