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Meet Stanley Obiamalu S. well known as Director SOS“” is a dual citizen of Nigeria and South Africa. A Johannesburg based music video director. Popularly known for directing ‘Whats that’ by Vector, Replay by Ice Prince, ‘Woss’ by CDQ, Normal level by Dj Kaywize and many other music videos in Africa.
Can we meet you?
My name is Stanley Sommadina Obiamalu. I was born in Nigeria and lived in Nigeria for the better part of two decades. I am a motion picture director and I have done a lot of work in Music Video directing. I have worked with artists across Africa and even Grammy Award winning artists. Some of the artists that I have worked for include but are not limited to Da-Les, Reekado Banks, Victoria Kimani, Dj Kaywise, Sean Tizzle, Vanessa Mdee, Ice Prince Zamani, Mr. Dutch, CDQ, Anati, Bennie Man and the list is continuous.
What inspired the name “Director Sos”?
The name SOS was gotten from the combination of my names Stanley Obiamalu Sommadina. The Director part of it is just a title.
How is growing up like for you?
I had a very good child hood. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon but at some point, I started eating with a silver spoon lol. I grew up in a God-fearing household and I am grateful for that. I appreciate my up bringing and I count myself as lucky. Not many people have been as fortunate as I have been to have a family like mine, I am truly grateful.
As a video director professionally when did you start?
I start professionally in 2014
Tell us about your company SOS media pro?
SOS Media Pro is a motion picture production company and it is a sector of SOS Group Africa. At SOS Media Production Company, we are dedicated to making memorable motion pictures and film projects in the form of short films, series, documentaries and any product associated with motion picture production.
Are you looking at having a record label?
No, no plans for owning a record label for now. I already have a lot going on in terms of business sectors.
What are the challenges you currently facing as a music director?
My greatest challenge as a music director is BUDGET. A lot of times I have to take money out of my pocket to shoot a video because I never compromise on quality. The budget is my greatest challenge but by Gods grace we make it work. That doesn’t mean I still can’t work with any budget brought to the table.
If you were to change anything in the industry, what would it be?
The industry has many facets. And while there are many problems, there are many victories. I mean look at the Nigerian music industry; it is doing great! I think we are in a transition in the music industry and we are surely getting great world recognition.
Tell us five things people don’t know about you?
I’m an introvert, I read a lot, I come alive in the Museum, I’m very techy, I cook my own meals.
Tell us about your relationship with Victoria Kimani?
I would rather not talk about my past relationship as I’m currently in a relationship
Still on Victoria Kimani, are you still friends and what kind of friendship do you share with her?
We are friends; we have a cordial working relationship
While dating, were you the one shooting her videos, or your relationship was strictly out of business?
Yes, I shot few videos for her, but we kept it very professional and strictly business.
Do you have any projects you working on presently?
Yes I do! There are a few projects in the works; films and series are concentrations that SOS has been working on for quite some time. Thus far, the procedures and negotiations have been going well and once all our plans have been finalized, you will get an exclusive as to what we are doing.
During our research on you, you seem to look like a music artist more than a video director, what informed your dress sense or should I say what inspires your dress sense?
I take my dress style seriously, I consider myself to be stylish and I am unapologetic about it. I believe in the mental benefits of good clothing. The mindset of good clothing is a confident mindset; a mind set of great success.
Besides film what else have you done?
I have worked extensively in other business sectors like car Customization, real estate and investment, SOS Entertainment, SOS VIP Services for high-end clientele. These are businesses that I haven’t been vocal about in the past but I am currently in the process of launching the mother company SOS Group Africa where all the business sectors fall under
Tell us about your partnership with NETFLIX and FOX LIFE to produce interesting series?
I can’t give you the details about what we are about to launch with these stations because we are still fine-tuning our projects so that we give our target audience the best. What you need to understand that these things take time, but I know that what we are bringing to the table is worth the wait.
Let’s talk soft and fashion, define your fashion and what does fashion means to you?
Your best color?
Most expensive toy?
Favorite food as a Nigerian living in SA?
Pounded Yam n Oha Soup
What item(s) you can’t do without?
My Cellphone n My Cameras
What items you can never be caught wearing?
Baggy Jeans
Favorite watch designer and perfume?
Apple Watch and Creed
Are you a soccer lover? What team do you support?
No, but I support Barcelona anyways
Instagram or Facebook?
What is the color of the ocean?
Let’s go back to our interview proper, those were just some random thing we do, so, looking at the music video industry in Nigeria, who would you consider your mentor and who do you see as your competitors?
Every video director that’s killing the game with his craft is considered my mentor. To be honest I don’t have a competitor.
We know music video can be tasking, how do you manage your regular production plus budget?
I believe that I have already answered this question in one of your previous questions
Do you handle the camera yourself or you have a DOP you instruct on what to do on set?
I handle the camera myself if there’s a kind of shot I personally intend to capture it.
What do you define as sexy in music video?
The fusion of all elements from cast to set designs. Now that’s the real sexy!
Bring us into the world SOS rescue?
SOS Rescue is an outreach program that aims to empower individuals with the skills needed to make a living for them selves in the motion picture industry in Africa.
Is it a foundation or an outreach to inspire young creative minds?
It is an outreach that inspires creative minds to hone their skills and equip their selves to make a living, but I’m also considering making it a foundation in future.
What will be the name of your alter ego if you’re to have one?
True SOS
A normal day for you how is it like?
My day is usually busy, but I do find time to rest.
The video directing world is extremely competitive. Knowing that, how did you face all the obstacles when breaking into the industry and launching your brand?
I never gave up! The entertainment industry is very cut throat and by the grace of God and the strength and determination that he has put in me, I don’t give up and I don’t give in until I reach my goal. My secret, I don’t give up!
How do you continue to innovate, stay relevant and strive for more success now that you’ve accomplished so much?
I believe there is always a higher level to attain so although I have attained so much, there is still so much more to attain. I am unreasonably ambitious so, I feel that I am still getting to where I need to be. Success is still on its way and I’m am striving to attain it everyday
The video directing world is extremely competitive. Knowing that, how did you face all the obstacles when breaking into the industry and launching your brand?
I never gave up! The entertainment industry is very cut throat and by the grace of God and the strength and determination that he has put in me, I don’t give up and I don’t give in until i reach my goal. Thats my secret, I don’t give up!
What’s the process for collaborating with other project managers, networks (channels) and celebrities of such in the industry? How much of an impact do they still have on the bottom line/end result of your projects?
Any great production effort whether it is a music video, or a movie is a work of great collaborative effort. A music video set or a film set is not the direct function of a director as a single entity or a actor without other cast members. So, I will say that the result of any successful project is a reflection of the teamwork on that project.
What do you want your lasting impact to be on the music video industry? How have you influenced the coming directors?
I want to be remembered for doing great quality work. When the names of the greats are mentioned, I want to be in the list.
I don’t know what the coming generation will take or emulate from me, but I believe that my work and who I am as an individual is a variety of things in one and the coming generation get to choose which ones of my qualities they would like to emulate.
In no particular order, what are your top three pieces of career advice?
Master your craft
Associate with people that can take you to the next level
Get yourself noticed, make sure your PR and marketing strategy is on point.
Advice to young creative?
Work hard and don’t give up. Hard work pays in the end. And remember immersing yourself in your craft and position yourself to be heard, interact and associate with people that can elevate you. You may be surprised that you find kindness from total strangers.