The video premiered on May 27 shortly after the Indonesian trio gave the song its live, acoustic debut on their label 88rising’s Asia Rising Together benefit livestream.
The sun-splashed video finds Brian, NIKI and Hue hanging out together in – where else – California, enjoying meals and even a traditional game of congkak, interwoven with scenes of other Asian families spending time together and a quick cameo from labelmates Atarashii Gakko!.
Watch the ‘California’ video, directed by Jason Ano, below:
“This song is about three Indonesian kids that managed to chase their dreams. Whether it’s acting, being a scientist or an architect or both, it’s all attainable,” Brian said in a press statement. “In this case NIKI, Warren, and I attained the same thing and that is making a career in California, which comes with its highs and lows.”
“The verse I wrote included the reality of being Asian in America and how I see California as a whole,” Hue added. “The process of making this song was interesting because it shows the perspective of three Indonesians talking about America and it’s definitely a fun project.”
‘California’ – which NIKI called the trio’s “most organic” songwriting collaboration – will appear on the label’s upcoming compilation ‘Head In The Clouds 3’. It’s the second preview of the comp following Hue’s solo single ‘Too Many Tears’, which is the album’s lead single. The label had teased the collaboration in the final seconds of the video for ‘Too Many Tears’, which dropped last week.
Details about ‘Head In The Clouds 3’, including a tracklist and release date, are still scarce. Previous editions – the second one released in 2019, and the first in 2018 – have featured the likes of Swae Lee, Major Lazer, Playboi Carti, Chung Ha and Phum Viphurit, alongside the label’s artists Joji, Jackson Wang, Stephanie Poetri and August 08, not to mention Brian and NIKI.
Head In The Clouds is also the name of 88rising’s annual Los Angeles festival, which was due to launch a Jakarta event last year until the pandemic hit. The festival will return to LA in November, the label has announced, for a two-day event from November 6 to 7 at Pasadena’s Brookside at the Rose Bowl. It marks the first time Head In The Clouds has expanded to two days.
Rich Brian and NIKI had busy years in 2020, with the former dropping the ‘1999’ EP and the latter her debut album ‘Moonchild’. Brian’s latest single was ‘Sydney’, released in March, while ‘California’ will be NIKI’s first release of 2021.