Interview with "Legacy" Music Video Director Kyle Padilla

It's no secret that I love the music phenomenon of EDM or electronic dance music, and it seems I'm not the only one with fans ranging from all ages across the globe its popularity only seems to be spreading. With so much new music and artists coming into the scene it's interesting to see how the music can be visually interpreted into music videos. I was lucky enough to catch up with music video director Kyle Padilla who just released the music video for Nicky Romero and Krewella's collaboration, "Legacy".


This video isn't your normal affair with just DJs, lights and the typical lasers. This video has a deeply emotive message attached to the story. A mother battling breast cancer and embarrassed by the effects chemotherapy has had on her. Fearful that she'll be shunned at work by her co-workers. Her son, a seemingly typical juvenile youth, who we believe at first is up to some pretty deep delinquent behavior only to learn that he is protecting his mother's feelings. The video is pretty heavy and heartfelt and was brought to life by Kyle Padilla who created the concept.

Kyle born and raised in Santa Monica, CA and graduated from USC film school is a commercial and music video director and has directed several videos for other artists including the dynamic EDM duo, Nervo. In fact, it was Nervo that introduce the director to Nicky Romero for one of their earlier music videos.

Kyle Padilla and Nicky Romero Kyle Padilla and Nicky Romero

"Nicky Romero knew about me because I had directed his video with NERVO for “Like Home”. NERVO actually introduced me to Nicky since I had worked with them on another project, as well. So, Nicky wanted to use me again for Legacy and Ultra Music really liked my treatment so we made it happen."

I have always wondered who was behind the concept of a music video. Was it the artist, record label or the director? For the most part it's more than likely a collaboration with all three. With "Legacy" this was all Kyle's concept. I asked him about how he came up with with the storyline for "Legacy" and if he had any personal experiences that may have helped inspire him for the video.

"This was my concept. I came up with it a couple of years ago when a family member fell ill with cancer and the treatment never really changed. I knew how I wanted it to go for so long and label was into it. The concept developed over about a week I think, all the story elements just kind of came to me. I remember the big moment at the end clicked for me when I was on my way to school one day.

I was exiting the 10 freeway for USC and when I had the epiphany of how the video would end I shed a tear I think. I made the decision right then and there that I was going to make this video happen when the timing was right and the timing was perfect when Legacy came across my desk. Pitching it was just a matter of writing the treatment. The label and artists agreed that this was the video they wanted so we did it.

This was always a tricky video. I knew that some people wouldn’t get it, but I always meant for those who did get it to really be left with something special to take away. This is the most rewarding video that I have done to date because I know it has made a difference in at least a few people’s days and it has hopefully raised awareness for breast cancer and for awesome organizations like Locks of Love. Proud of my team."


I personally have been fortunate enough to shoot Krewella twice and it was a pleasure both times. I asked Kyle how his experience was directing Nicky Romero again along with the Krewella sisters, Jahan and Yasmine, for the first time.

"Their labels and management were all awesome to work with. I go way back to Like Home with Protocol Recordings, and it was fun getting to work with Ultra Music and Th3rd Brain Management for the first time. Nicky was great as usual and the girls were super down to earth. I’ve worked with some of the most beautiful women in dance music so I can’t complain."


For those of you wondering on the technical goodness behind the music video we can start with the ARRI Alexa. The entire video was shot using the ARRI. Kyle also had this to say about the shooting of the video.

"[The shoot] took a few days. One of the days we shot in front of the house that I grew up in. It was the most convenient place to destroy a car. I [also] use the best DP/Gaffer duo in the game. Philips Shum and Juan Sebastian Baron. Since I wanted to shoot this all at night, using a lot of lights, there was no way I could have lived without Philips and 'Sebas'."

As my last question to Kyle I wanted to know if he had any advice that he could share with any prospective directors or videographers who want to work in the ever growing EDM industry.

"Just hustle. Protect your reputation. Try not to burn any bridges. Do good work. Have mentors. Surround yourself with people who are better than you. Don’t be too proud take out the trash when you’re just starting out. Hustle some more. Take advantage of your resources. Enjoy the ride."

You can see the full behind the scenes coverage of "Legacy" in the video below:

If you want to check out some more of Kyle's work you can find him at the following:

Kyle Padilla's Website
Kyle Padilla's Facebook Page
Kyle Padilla's Vimeo

Also if you're an inspiring EDM photographer or videographer and want to share your photos, videos, stories and experiences join us at EDM Photographers and EDM Filmmakers.

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