Kong Studio teams up with Alex Iwobi and SPK ABOUT IT for animated music video

Member News  |  07 June 2024

Kong Studio teams up with Premiership Footballer Alex Iwobi and creative agency SPK ABOUT IT for Alex’s debut animated music video, Don’t Shoot.

Don’t Shoot is the first single to be released from Alex Iwobi’s debut EP. The song’s lyrics read as a positive message to young people to shoot towards their life goals, as opposed to street violence. The tongue-in-cheek track is presented as an animated homage to classic arcade games, with appearances from fellow rappers and footballers Don-EE aka Medy Elito and Scoli aka Chuba Akpom, as key characters in the games.

How does a growing and ambitious animation studio follow twelve intensive months of long-form series and feature work? By signing off the year with their debut music video! In November 2023, Kong Studio was wrapping up two animated half-hour specials for the BBC when Executive Producer Emma Burch took a call from SPK ABOUT IT Founder Emmanuel Nwaohai. The brief? To create a playful music video for none other than Fulham FC and Nigerian international footballer, Alex Iwobi.

Don’t Shoot is a subtle jibe at urban hip hop clichés. The title refers to ‘shooting’ footballs, not guns with a tone that is upbeat and fun. With Alex playing for Fulham FC and Nigeria’s national team Chuba Akpom playing for Ajax Amsterdam, whilst established musician Medy Elito playing for Ramsgate, it was going to be a struggle to get the footballing lyricists together to film shoot at short notice. The solution?

Alex suggested it might be fun to animate the three of them. They are all gamers in their downtime and play together online when they can. I suggested we put the players in their own game.

Emmanuel Nwaohai, Founder of SPK ABOUT IT

We thought we could take this a step further and place our stars in a selection of retro classics. Lots of the lyrics reference their local area (all three grew up together in Newham, East London), and we all thought it would be great fun to get London locations in our arcade interpretations. It would reflect their roots, whilst offering hidden gems for the viewer.

Tom Baker, Co-Founder of Kong Studio

The collaboration was confirmed, and the team began creating its retro arcade magic. The deadline to be Alex Iwobi’s (hopefully) victorious return from the Africa Cup of Nations in February.

Our previous production took a year and was delivered on the Friday. By Monday morning we were hard at work on pre-production for ‘Don’t Shoot!’. The chemistry and understanding between Kong and Emmanuel (founder of SPK) were instantaneous, and Alex proved a fantastic client. We hope this is not only our inaugural music video, but also our inaugural project with SPK and Alex.

Bill Elliott, Co-Founder of Kong Studio

Despite time being tight for the project’s ambitions – it’s been one of those projects that has been a genuine joy to work on from start to finish. Emmanuel showed great respect and understanding for the various stages of animation production. And Kong had the added thrill of following Alex and Nigeria’s AFCON journey – nail-biting stuff!

Emma Burch, Executive Producer at Kong Studio

The release was postponed so Alex and Chuba could focus on the rest of the football season. With that now over, everyone has been excited to publish the video and release the track. The result is nostalgic with a gentle humour – a Kong Studio trademark, whilst the three console-playing athletes are naturals in front of the camera (or console!).

Don’t Shoot was released on 6 June 2024. Watch the music video below.