Success is relative. And for Berhana, the gluttonous trappings of music success don't actually make you happy once you get them. The Atlanta upstart premieres the song and music video for "Wildin'" on NPR Music, a divergent stance on defining your accomplishments by the industry's standards.
"There's a lot of things around success that can distract you and you forget what it is you're even doing this for," the singer says. "All this stuff around you kind of means nothing."
Much of the Sam Guest-directed video finds Berhana's character glass-eyed and jaded while raking in the predetermined perks of a lucrative music career — chains, cash, drugs, a Lambo, an endless sneaker supply, VIP treatment ... you get the idea. While the world around him spins out of control, he sings on the chorus, "I'm wildin' cause its all I know, I'm hoping I don't waste it."
Advisory: This video contains explicit language and violent imagery.
"I was reading an old proverb that says, 'An excess of courtesy is actually discourtesy,'" Berhana explains. "That kind of hit home for me in the video. Just because you're getting all of these things at once, that doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you. It doesn't mean that that's what you should be doing."
But while Berhana's character in the video is numb to the experience, outsiders look on with jealousy. After being jumped and robbed in the visual's climax, Berhana ends the video by getting his head shaved, his face still bloodied and swollen. The artist says he was nervous to cut his hair on camera, but admits it felt cathartic in the moment after weeks of planning.
"It's symbolizing a new beginning," he says. "After getting to your lowest low, it's still like, you're not done, you can still start over, start fresh."
"Wildin'" serves as the first single from Berhana's upcoming project, the official follow up to his 2016 self-titled EP.