Quentin Baillieux animates urban horse race for Charles X music video

Music: horses canter along highways and through city streets in French director Quentin Baillieux's music video for Can You Do It by Charles X (+ movie).

Illustrated as a cross between an elite equestrian event and an urban car race, the film follows the animals and their jockeys as they speed along crowd-lined roads.

Can You Do It by Charles X

"This confrontation of two worlds provides a starting point for the film," Baillieux told Dezeen. "The first scenes incorporate a mixture of codes and conventions that stem from both cultures."

Baillieux first heard US musician Charles X on the radio in France, and immediately contacted his record label with a proposition to collaborate and an initial sketch.

Can You Do It by Charles X

"Right away I loved what he embodied; it was hip-hop but you could hear that he was also influenced by soul and Motown, which have been genres that I have always taken a keen interest in," the director said.

They began working on the video for Can You Do It in October 2015, deciding that a mix of "the street and the elite" would be an apt visual concept to accompany the track.

Can You Do It by Charles X

The director modelled the film's city setting on Los Angeles, with the race starting in the San Fernando valley – where Charles X grew up – and culminating downtown.

"The race itself allows the film to grow with the camera, able to explore a variety of locations in Los Angeles," he said.

Can You Do It by Charles X

Baillieux used Maya, Photoshop and Flash software to create blue and purple imagery, designed to look both two and three dimensional.

The video pans in and out of the race, focusing in on the riders and members of the crowd then sweeping out to wider cityscape and aerial views.

Can You Do It by Charles X

"Identities blend and interchange to create a festive atmosphere, where privilege no longer exists and where everyone – from the people to the elite – mix and have fun together," Baillieux said.

Towards the end, the different faces shown during the clip are projected onto skyscrapers, emphasising the people's connection to their city and each other.

Can You Do It by Charles X

"The festivities and the desire of freedom become generalised sentiments," said the director. "We witness scenes of interconnection between people from different parts of the city."

"The concept of this film is born from a peaceful revolution that doesn't spring from violence but gains momentum through mutual love," he added. "For this to be our backdrop, I approached the subject with delicacy as well as finding a way for contrasts and paradoxes to interact."

Can You Do It by Charles X

Produced by Eddy and animated at Brunch Studio, the video took Baillieux and his team five months to complete.

Can You Do It is taken from Charles X's Sounds of the Yesteryear LP, which was released by label Alter K on 18 March 2016.