Written & Performed by Pancho Morris
The Great Again E.P.
Produced by James “Skyway Man” Wallace
at Zoolabs in Oakland, CA.
Music Video Produced by Dillon Morris
Music Video Directed by Adam J. Richman
Packing a political punch comparable to Childish Gambino’s “This is America,” the visually decadent and surrealist music video “Strangetown, USA” is a striking critique of America’s political and economic injustices.
“Strangetown, USA” is the first single on the GREAT AGAIN LP by musician Pancho Morris. It was produced by James Wallace and engineered by Peter Labberton at Zoo Labs in Oakland, CA. “I wanted to write a song about the alienation I felt. Like someone had stolen your hometown from underneath you,” says Morris. “Waking up in your same bed. Same streets, same buildings – but things have shifted.”
The music video depicts a heroic character who travels from the bottom to the top of the capitalist pyramid in an attempt to topple the system. “Our crew was making a music video about toppling hierarchies while also rejecting hierarchy in the production process,” says musician Pancho Morris. “It feels rare for people to actually embody the values they promote.”
Bucking the traditional filmmaking structure, the team adopted a “consensus-based” approach and produced the video in an unusually democratic way. Immersive arts producers and filmmakers opened a call for proposals from local artists, asking them to create scenes depicting the wealth disparity in America. Over 100 artists in the San Francisco Bay Area collaborated for months to create vignettes, props, and the fantastical sets that filled an Oakland warehouse to create “Strangetown.” “The overwhelming support and contribution from the Bay Area artist community speaks to how deeply resonant the ideas behind Strangetown are,” says Chris Swimmer, one of the video’s producers.
Learn more about the music video and how it was made at strangetownusa.com, and help spread the message of Strange.
Behind-the-Scenes by Nick Kohut
With support from Alex Malek, Justin Laundre & Dillon Morris