Rich Tella Filmography


Updating an Icon Part 1

As part of the making an influencer experiment i get to try pretty much anything i can imagine with the character, that’s both a blessing and a bit of a curse. Infinite amount of potential, but how to reign it in so as to not become crippled by that potential?

One way i have found, is to focus on doing the things that maintain my personal interest also, bake a little of what you find fun in there. This month Feb 2020, through the character i created, i was able to fulfil a childhood fantasy of becoming a rockstar for five minutes, and it’s been an absolute joy. I know i cant sing, but thats okay, i could shout/scream as best i could, and for rock sometimes thats just enough.

The piece is a song; a remix of ‘Testify’ made famous by Rage Against The Machine, a song with a serious message, and as a cover song i want to do it justice, so i rewrote the lyrics for the present time with the good message of decentralizing ones data.

Debuting in 1999 the original track orbits on the American political war in Iraq and the dependency on oil, pertinent topics for a rock band back then at the turn of the century. As with many of RATMs songs i wanted to bring a sense of empowerment and urgency to the cover song lyrics i wrote, while riding on the current hot topics currently discussed in some of the mainstream media; data: privacy, security, monetization etc.

The primary context of the original lyrics in the Testify track hinged mainly on the topics of Iraq, Media and Oil, so i simply took these key aspects and updated them for a modern day scenario.

In the cover lyrics i changed the location from Iraq, where the war described in the song was (is?) going on, to the internet where the information war rages everyday. I switched the media for the big Internet companies; the new kings that profit from our collective data; and of course the most obvious; changing oil for data, which surpassed oil as the most valuable commodity on earth just a few years ago. 

Having been, and very much still being a big fan of RATMs music i wanted to do justice to the original song, and that includes doing justice to the music video. Produced by Michael Moore, of whom i was (back then) a fan of, but not so much any more; the original music video provides a simple framework for me to work from when it comes to constructing the music video for the updated cover song titled ‘Decentralize’.

As i was lucky enough to meet a local guy in the neighbourhood that has the equipment to record high quality audio, we went ahead and recorded the song with the new lyrics, and as i could not wait to see the response online i published the song straight away with just a still frame of the character.

In my next blog post i shall describe the decision making process for how i constructed the music video for Decentralize. If you cant wait for the music video you can listen on  right now.

If you wanna know more about the making an influencer experiment (now in its 6 month) check out my monthly video diary published here.

Wanna collaborate on something fun? Hit me up!

Rich Tella