2020 has seen a lot of simplistic music videos gaining steady momentum with fans – due in part to both quarantine culture and a rise in minimalism across the board – and while I don’t know that he’s deliberately following the trend, Stokoff’s new release “Fuego & Hielo” definitely fits in with this model. As a music video, “Fuego & Hielo” is a pretty cut and dry piece of work – what makes it so colorful and affective is the combination of beats, harmonies and lyrical prowess that inspired it. Stokoff raises the bar for himself here, and I like how he goes about doing it.
You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/OCTAVIOSTOKOFF?app=desktop
There’s definitely a pop-style hook in this single that gives it a little extra radio appeal, and while some would have to introduce an artificial element to make this hybridity work for the pastoral setting, this isn’t the case here at all. Instead, Stokoff is implementing a compositional framework into his organic sound quite meticulously, leaving no room for the fluff that some of his peers would just as soon require when trying to produce a crossover that doesn’t lean too heavily on the pillars of past successes in the country music genre.
The production quality for both the song and its companion video are rock solid, but I don’t think the sole intention here was to raise the market profile – or establishment stock – for the Stokoff brand. There’s too much emotion in his delivery of the lyrics and, furthermore, too raw an approach to the music video for this to be true; after all, if this singer/songwriter was planning on selling-out his true artistic identity, I don’t think that he would be taking such a unique route with the structuring of this latest release by any means (the opposite, quite honestly).
Stokoff is still an underground player who isn’t getting the type of mainstream attention some of his competition is, but with the release of “Fuego & Hielo” he confirms something to critics like myself that is immeasurably important at this stage of his professional life – he isn’t finished evolving. A hallmark of all great singer/songwriters is their ability to constantly grow with the music that they make, and by consistently keeping his listeners and the press on our toes with provocative formulas like the one we find here, he demonstrates a desire to continue developing what is already a very brilliant sound.
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