“Forever” is the eighth song off of Los Angeles-based Kukuni’s self-titled album led by musician Willy Christie and available on Liquid Culture, a community of artists and creators dedicated to preserving and furthering the psychedelic experience. With support from director Leah O’Connor and editor Stephen Giordano, Kukuni transformed the song “Forever” into a beautiful music video featuring Christie that was shot over the course of two road trips from Los Angeles to Kansas City, from whence both O’Connor and Christie hail, and features the Imperial Dunes, Horseshoe Bend (because the Grand Canyon entrance was closed), and somewhere near Bakersfield.

Watch Kukuni's "Forever" music video:

“We happened across several families on the side of the road praying,” shares Christie. “There was a huge cross nearby, but most of these people were praying in their own special spots, and it really drove home our narrative that our world is beautiful and inspiring just as it is.”

Kukuni frontman Willy Christie live onstage (C) John Beatty @johnpbeattydp

What Is Kukuni?

Kukuni is best described as psychedelic, indie, experimental art rock with pop sensibilities; wavy and groovy; dark but uplifting. Kukuni’s lyrics are rife with symbols, myths and fables; the language of the subconscious. The sound takes you into the dark forest of the human spirit and shines a light on the path less taken. Kukuni’s music represents the internal space we all return to when creating; the room in which our strangest ideas float around, waiting to be transformed into something beautiful.

The musical project’s eponymous debut album dropped this past autumn, merging the vocals and writing of Christie with the award-winning production of Tony Buchen and powerful drums of Robby Sinclair, a U.S. Jazz Ambassador. More recently, Kukuni premiered the “Forever” music video at a special night of performances at Los Angeles’s Oracle Tavern on May 11th, which doubled as a benefit for the nonprofit Indigenous Action, an anti-colonial collective.

Kukuni's FOREVER music video included a tribute to the Indigenous communities whose ancestral lands provided the backdrop for the project (C) Leah O'Connor / Liquid Culture

Kukuni's "Forever": What Inspired Willy Christie?

For Christie, the concept of forever is impossible to imagine, and in his mind, the closest thing to represent the concept would be these timeless expanses of seemingly untouched nature. “Yet, the sand dunes move with the wind, the beauty of the canyon is also the humbling reminder that nothing is permanent in this world,” Christie muses. “Forever doesn’t feel like forever.”

Still from Kukuni's FOREVER music video (C) Leah O'Connor / Liquid Culture Records

Director Leah O'Connor's Vision For Kukuni's "Forever"

Something O’Connor really wanted to capture within the “Forever” music video is a variety of endless horizons, the type you see when you’re driving on a long road trip in the middle of nowhere. Then, when the director did the second round of shooting by herself nearly two years after the primary filming, she focused on finding the opposite: rushing water, leaves blowing in the wind, and clouds moving above — all impermanent phenomena that have been and will go on forever. “The process of shooting and creating this video was in itself a meditation on how the Earth existed before humankind and will continue to exist after, and what those two realities might be like,” shares O’Connor.

Another video highlight features a grove of aspens known as Pando or “The Trembling Giant” — the densest organism ever found at nearly 13 million pounds. “The clone spreads over 106 acres, consisting of over 40,000 individual trees,” shares Christie. “The exact age of the clone and its root system is difficult to calculate, but it is estimated to have started at the end of the last ice age.”

And for those of you wondering about Christie’s wardrobe ....“I found the vintage sweater online and never wore it until it was time to make the video,” he shares. “I really enjoyed the irony of wearing a tacky landscape sweater with the most beautiful American scenery in the background.”

Still from Kukuni's FOREVER music video (C) Leah O'Connor / Liquid Culture Records

Check Out The Lyrics To Kukuni's "Forever"

All I see is making me want to sing.
Everything is as it seems. So serene.
When the tide throws you off, you'll be fine, just hold on.

Messaging all living things in the dream.
If in your stream you're drowning, just breathe.
Remember to persist. If it wasn't already perfect, we wouldn't exist.

Cuz forever doesn't feel like forever.
When you're in it, man it feels like a dream.
If you see it as even, please believe it.
Cuz forever ain't as long as it seems.

Cuz forever doesn't feel like forever.
Take this moment and see that it's true.
If you see it as even, please believe it.
Just remember, any moment will do.

For more about Kukuni, visit kukunimusic.com. You can listen to the album on Spotify and purchase it here. To learn more, follow @kukunimusic and @willychristie on Instagram. See more from Liquid Culture by visiting liquidculturerecords.com.

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Zoe Wilder


Featured image: Still from Kukuni's FOREVER music video (C) Leah O'Connor / Liquid Culture Records