It’s been a few months since Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” music video was released, but now, a new cover by Alex Boye’ is making the world dance and surrender once more to this impossibly-catchy tune. However, the video is more than just your average cover of another pop song. What Alex Boye’ has created is an “African Hipster Version” of the melody, complete with African rhythms, voices and instruments.
Boye’ begins the video by standing in a bright, wooden room while clutching a handheld microphone in his hand. He welcomes the audience as a door panel slides open to the coaxing sounds of the piano, like a circus master during the grand opening of a show.
His grand opening is short lived, however, and the cameras then cut to Boye’ in a different room as the song starts. Boye’ is accompanied by the musical group, Changing Lanes, whose deep, timber vocals complements Boye’s sharper and higher-pitched tone. By the time the pre-chorus comes around, “But I keep cruising / Can’t stop, won’t stop moving” – what we get is a surprisingly wonderful blend of African, jazz, and funk music.
What really makes this video soar, though, is Boye’, with his vocal charm and charismatic presence in front of the camera. Unlike Taylor Swift, there is nothing awkward or clumsy about his dance moves, no slip-ups or collapses to cringe about. Nothing is truer than the words when he sings, “I never miss a beat / I’m lightning on my feet.” This isn’t to say that he doesn’t let loose, because Boye’ is anything but tame in this video.
In a colourful, cheerful, recreation of what was already a fun song to begin with, Boye’ takes the song to new heights by adding his own vibrant flavour to it. There is even a moment in the middle that makes way for a funky keytar solo by one of the musicians, and we see Boye’ dressed up in full traditional clothing while beating on a drum. No one can enjoy this song as much as he does, which makes it nearly impossible to dislike.
On his Youtube page, Boye’ says: “I take pop songs and Africanize them.” Indeed, he has made covers for a variety of other songs, such as “Let It Go,” “Roar,” and “Happy.” His new album, entitled Africanized, is now available and features twelve of his most popular covers.