Word Is Cheap x VOTD | Sabina Smitham


Today we’ve been lucky enough to chat to VOTD Judge Sabina Smitham and find out her favourite music videos. With a mixture of classics and a lesser-known gem we’re certain Sabina would fit in nicely at Word Is Cheap. Now of course great taste in visuals is Ms Smitham’s bread and butter being a trusted expert of moving image.

“Sabina specialises in online video and works with some of the world's top YouTube creators to produce branded content campaigns. She makes the occasional short film and music video, and (since she started out in the TV world) keeps her storytelling senses tingling by helping film production companies decide which scripts to produce. Sabina was listed as one of 2014’s Broadcast Hotshots by Broadcast Magazine.”

So here we are, Sabina Smitham’s favourite music videos and why. Enjoy!


Childish Gambino > Sober, directed by Hiro Murai (2014)

“I have an over-involved crush on Childish Gambino. Now that’s out of the way, here’s another reason I love this video: it subverts expectations of the story. It looks like it’s going down a conventional boy-meets-girl route, until we take a bendy trip into Mr. Childish’s so-high-mind as he jives around the diner. And it could have ended with a saccharine love-match, but the sexy girl is totally dismissive of him, as she should be. It captures the elation and isolation of (what I imagine it’s like) being high. Note the wait-am-i-the-best-dancer-ever?! vibes otherwise only available from getting drunk and dancing in front of your mirror.“


 Alcoholic Faith Mission > Legacy, directed by Bryn Chainey (2011)


“Bryn Chainey doesn’t go for a literal interpretation of the track here, which I rather appreciate. Instead, he’s responding to its sentiment and reveals emotional layers that you might not hear in the song on a first listen. A grieving child, exploring mortality through a pet mouse might seem like an odd way to visualise this song, but no! It’s actually a witty match for the combo of playful music and earnest lyrics. Incongruous combinations can make for a fun video. Like Ludwig Van and extreme violence. (I also like to imagine that the mouse is a professional animal-actor, and just playing dead for the purposes of the video.)“ 



Black Keys > Lonely Boy, directed by Jesse Dylan (son of Bob Dylan) (2011)

“This is one of my all-time favourite music videos, and not just (though to a large extent) because I like to watch a cool dude dance his ass off. The Black Keys’ video shows that you don’t need to be afraid of simplicity: the production quality is wilfully poor. Sometimes technical complexity just obscures the bit that matters. Here, the artistry comes from picking the perfect subject and letting that subject dance like there’s no tomorrow. Both metaphorically and literally (It works, think about it.)”

Read more interviews: Word is Cheap