Exclusive: KICCC Discusses the Cinematic Music Video for ‘Wine’

Carson Cheng, known professionally as KICCC, is a Canadian-Chinese singer and burgeoning solo artist. On July 8, KICCC released a music video for his single “Wine.” Following his previous releases “Here” and “Control,” the “Wine” music video completes his cinematic trilogy. In an email interview, KICCC discussed his experience filming the “Wine” music video and his upcoming album The Water Knows.

KICCC
KICCC | Gramophone Media

KICCC got his start as an actor

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Before focusing on music you were an actor. How did you first get into acting? 

KICCC: I studied to be a performance artist in college and after graduating I looked for different opportunities. I started taking acting classes for film and television. Eventually, I got scouted and started working abroad in Hong Kong as an actor. I got to be in some short films and television shows so that was a great practical experience.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What encouraged you to shift your career path from acting to music?

KICCC: I shifted towards making music because I wanted to connect with my work as a creator again. As a rookie actor, I didn’t have much sway when it came to what kind of story I was going to be telling. I realized that I needed to remain creatively productive to feel fulfilled and music became my way of doing that. Music and the different things that accompany it has given me a holistic method of expression.

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How KICCC came up with the name of his album

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: The Water Knows is the title behind your upcoming album. Is there a story or a special meaning behind how you came up with the title?

KICCC: Yes! The Water Knows for me is a self-affirmation that has allowed me to stay convicted in pursuing my goals. A couple of years ago on a work trip in Seoul, I happened upon a creepy message written in the corner of an odd elevator that said something about water and knowing something (it was in Korean and it didn’t make sense).

At first, I was really disturbed by it because the building I saw that message in was giving off bad vibes. After a couple of days of it being at the back of my mind, I went to see a famous fortune-teller for fun with my friend. I honestly don’t remember much of what she said but at some point, she said I was water.

A bunch of things just started clicking in my head and it made me realize that I needed to listen to my intuition more because deep inside I already have the answers I’m looking for. In short, there’s a lot of mental gymnastics and it’s taken on much more meaning beyond the origin at this point.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What has the writing process been like for The Water Knows?

KICCC: The writing process for The Water Knows has been very reflective and felt like a way to process a lot of what I was feeling in the past few years. It speaks to my fantasies, fears, happiness, and other things. I think for a while I failed to check in with myself and writing the songs on the album became a way of having a conversation with myself.

The ‘Wine’ music video is a cinematic experience

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What was your experience like filming the “Wine” music video?

KICCC: It was quite emotional being that it is the last of the trilogy. There were a lot of challenging scenes that required a lot of planning and preparation by the crew. Knowing that I felt a lot of pressure to make sure I’d do my part when I had to get in front of the camera. That is also the most rewarding part of filming because at the end when you get the shot it’s a great feeling.

I’m very lucky that I got to share the screen with an amazing cast of talent that made the vision come to life with their performances. I also want to thank Athina, who was the lead dancer and my opposite in the music video. We had to shoot a scene that was very emotionally vulnerable and intimate and her openness and emotional depth made it my favourite scene from the whole video.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: The “Wine” music video shows the process of reincarnation with a phoenix character. How does this relate to your artistry and the message of the song?

KICCC: Brock Newman, the director of the music video, came to me with the idea of reincarnation as an alternate form of “possibility.” It related to my journey as an artist as I’ve had instances where I had to let certain things go in order to move on to something else. Within that transient space, there’s a vulnerability and that relates to the message of the song.

KICCC on the music video’s concept

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: “Wine” is the final song of your trilogy series and follows “Here” and “Control.” What themes did you want to explore with these three songs and music videos?

KICCC: The common concept and theme explored with these three music videos is the idea that possibilities and outcomes are infinite. They show up differently in each video but for me, it speaks to our abilities as people to make changes within our self, to reinvent ourselves.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Music is incredibly subjective and your fans might interpret your songs differently than you do. While the music video and lyrics for “Wine” can be left to interpretation, what do you take away from the song and your experience of creating it?

KICCC: I want people listening to the song to relate to the comfort of vulnerability and understand that biding time is not selfish. I think we need to take care of ourselves a bit more, take time for yourself because you need to recharge in order to continue on when you are needed and ready again.