Saturday, February 24, 2024

Magnus Riise – «Still Here»

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Queer Norwegian/American indie artist, Magnus Riise, has just shared the amazing visual conclusion to his first EP. Co-directed by Jules Dameron, a Deaf gay trans man, the video beautifully explores feelings of loneliness, grief, and the strength of community, all conveyed through the beauty of American Sign Language (ASL).

Indie artist Magnus Riise is thrilled to share the release of his new music video «Still Here», the final music video for his debut EP, «Until Tomorrow». This unapologetic album explores queerness, sexuality, mental health, loss, and self-acceptance.

Co-directing and starring in the video with Magnus is writer, director, and actor Jules Dameron, an openly Deaf gay trans man. «When I first listened to it, it got me crying like a baby. I understood it. It resonated with me. The feelings of emptiness, sadness and loneliness after the absence of a beloved one are powerful and this song made me feel validated for feeling this way. I needed to tap into that and pour it out into the creation of this music video. I’ve always been searching for artists who I can connect with and collaborate with, and frankly, working with Magnus has been a beautiful experience and a special treat for me. He and I share a lot of the same creative philosophies and have similar voices in our aesthetics and our storytelling. It’s euphoric when this special collaboration exists».

Jules continues: «This project involves 10 queer deaf actors / performers, and this was absolutely my wheelhouse; being able to direct talented deaf actors and bringing out the emotion and rawness in their performance through music. It has been a privilege to be in this position to do all this in a single music video. It is also not a common occurrence where we can have so many deaf actors in one place oozing their talent together, let alone queer, let alone sharing their emotion! I have most commonly seen more lighter roles, more comedic roles for deaf and hard of hearing actors. I’m glad to get us in this place, thankful for the collaboration with Magnus, and I’m curious to see what the world makes of it».

Magnus adds: «I was lucky to be exposed to the Deaf community in NYC years ago when I started helping out with a series of ASL Cabaret’s that I also ended up being on the producing team for. I had seen such amazing performances from the Deaf community and I knew I wanted to prominently feature that somehow through this visual EP. I had also gotten to know such a warm and loving community, that absolutely thrived in each other’s presence. I think there are some similarities between the queer and Deaf experience. Existing in a world that was not created for you can, at times, be extremely lonely. But both queer people and Deaf people have been able to tackle that loneliness through community and coming together. I wanted this video to depict that loneliness, but leaving with the hope of what coming together in shared experiences can create and to show that on your loneliest and darkest days, there are other people going through the same thing. Jules really took to the concept and was an absolute dream collaborator, and I look forward to what we will create together next!».

Joshua Castille, who is well-known for his incredible work on Broadway’s Spring Awakening and 5th Avenue Theatre’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, has translated this amazing song into American Sign Language (ASL). The video features an all-queer cast of Deaf performers who are absolutely incredible, including Amelia Hensley, Chelsea Lee, Gabriel Silva, Ian Sanborn, Joey Antonio, Jules Dameron, Malik Paris, Melissa Elmira Yingst, Samuel Langshteyn, and Shiran Zhavian. We are so excited to share this beautiful and inclusive project with you!

«Still Here» is the amazing fifth and final music video from Magnus’ debut EP that was released on April 30th 2023, resulting in a fully visual EP. The album has received widespread praise from reputable outlets such as HuffPost, The Advocate, Instinct, Queerty, and Gayety, reaching hundreds of millions of people.

Magnus Riise is an indie artist with an incredible voice, uplifting pop sound, and a proud queer identity. His debut EP takes listeners on a joyful journey of self-discovery, love, and strength. Embracing diversity and challenging societal norms, Magnus Riise aims to empower others to embrace their true selves through his music and visual storytelling. Having already toured the album to amazing cities like NYC, London, Oslo, Liverpool, and Denver, Magnus Riise has wowed audiences worldwide with his electrifying performances. With more cities on the horizon, his tour is set to continue spreading his message of love, acceptance, and inclusivity to even more music lovers around the globe. Through his artistry, Magnus Riise aims to inspire audiences and create a world where love, acceptance, and inclusivity reign supreme.

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