Juan Wauters’ new single/video “Presentation” features Nick Hakim and Benamin. A longtime resident of Jackson Heights, Juan has always shot the sounds and sights of New York City in his own vision. The video, directed by Wauters, is an ode to early NYC hip hop aura, featuring breakdancers from the Bronx, a Queens basketball court, and Central Park’s “Alice In Wonderland” statue. Over an eclectic chorus of vocal samples and sound effects, Wauters triumphantly declares “I made it through another year / there’s nothing that I fear / I’m just cooling off.”
The concept for the video was created at Nick’s studio in Brooklyn. Nick and I had only met a few times before and Benamin and I met that night. We all hit it off really well and made this song that was built by all of us pitching ideas. The lyrics are a mash up from a bunch of notes I had scattered on my cell phone. There are many references to other songs, some obvious some not so much. I’d rather not disclose that since that’s the fun for you, the listener.
I wanted the video to be an ode to early NYC hip hop in a very cliché way. It was filmed during the summer of 2020. At that time, there weren’t many people around the city, a lot of transplants had left and there were no tourists, so that painted the city in a very special tone. Nick, Ben and I met at a playground in Maspeth, Queens with Matthew Volz where we shot some casual footage of us to the song. The day after Matthew and I went to the Bronx to meet with a young crew of breakdancers. It was a really hot day. We filmed with them for about an hour. The dancers really brought the house down. It was so cool to see them all vibe to the music. We also filmed at Central Park’s Alice In Wonderland statue to connect some lyric references.
Until recently, Wauters had viewed his solo project as a singular expression of his artistic vision. A trip through Latin America while recording his last album, however, laid the groundwork for a different approach. Inviting local musicians to contribute to the songs he was working on produced a collection unlike any of his previous work, infused with the musical traditions of each country he’d visited. As a result, 2018’s La Onda De Juan Pablo and its follow-up, Introducing Juan Pablo, were Wauters’ most expansive and sonically diverse records to date, tracing both his Uruguayan roots and his travellers’ spirit.