DJ White Shadow, 'The Clock Is Ticking': Video Premiere

Patrick Binder Photography
DJ White Shadow

Paul Blair is obsessed with his own mortality. Better known as DJ White Shadow, he co-wrote and produced much of Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP” (including current No. 14 and 17 songs “Applause” and “Do What U Want”) and releases his own EP, “The Clock Is Ticking” on December 10. The title track is concentrated on the matter of life and death.

Watch the exclusive premiere of the video for “The Clock Is Ticking” here:

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“It's the thing that most separates men from animals,” says Blair. “The big question: ‘What’s life about? What happens when we die?’ It is the curse to the gift of human cognitive thought. I think about it all the time. Time is a gift; a gift that you have no idea how much you are going to have, so you should make the best of it while you do.”

The video depicts – in graphic detail – the life story and experience of a man from conception through the very end, all moving at a clip that reflects White Shadow’s own personal sense of urgency and obsessive habits.

“I was awake for more than 24 hours and I was trying to finish this project,” Blair explains. “I started thinking about the damage I had done to myself in the past by living an unhealthy lifestyle (no sleep, bad food, no exercise, smoking, etc.) just to try and put some music out. I was so poor and working so hard and no one cared. It was sort of like being a drug addict. I mean, the actions were the same. I shut everything out and couldn't do anything but make the music.”

To call the video primal would be an understatement, but that shouldn’t be a surprise coming from the man who brought R. Kelly to Lady Gaga.

“R. Kelly is one of the best writers in history,” Blair says emphatically. “He is a genius. I knew that [he and Lady Gaga] would sound good together.”

According to Blair, Gaga was immediately receptive to the idea of Kelly and the two hit it off immediately on the phone, initially discussing a collaboration for what was meant to be a remix of the song “Do What U Want.”

“It sounded so good that me and [engineer] Dave Russell mixed it as a album cut,” Blair says. “That song is genius. The funny thing is that track was originally a discarded track from a remix that was never going to see the light of day. It’s kind of amazing when you recollect it all.”

After the release of “Clock,” White Shadow will finish another EP, the third in a trilogy, as well as complete sessions for two full-lengths with other artists.

“I will definitely be floating around for a few minutes next year,” Blair adds. “Unless I run out of time, which is possible you know.”

“The Clock Is Ticking” EP is out through DECON on December 10.