Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia director nominated for best music video Grammy

Nova Scotian-born Andy Hines is nominated for the music video Grammy award for directing Logic’s 1-800-273-8255, which features Alessia Cara and Khalid.

Andy Hines directed video for Logic's 1-800-273-8255, which 164M people have watched on YouTube

Andy Hines also directed hip-hop artist Big Sean's video for One Man Can Change the World, which won an MTV Video Music Award in August. (Submitted by David Hung)

A Nova Scotia director's work is being recognized by the Grammys. 

Andy Hines, of Avondale, N.S., is nominated in the best video category for 1-800-273-8255 by Logic, which features Khalid and Canadian singer Alessia Cara. The song is also nominated for song of the year. 

Hines said he was hopeful the song would be honoured but didn't expect the video to be. 

"I'm still totally shocked," he said Tuesday night.

WARNING: The following video contains offensive language.

 

The seven-minute video follows the story of a black teenager struggling with his sexuality and contemplating suicide. The song title references the U.S.'s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

"I wanted people to know that there's an option, that there's always an option in life, you can choose to try to open a new door," Hines said. 

Logic (left) pictured with Andy Hines on set of Black SpiderMan video. (Justin Fleischer)

Hines and Logic, a rapper, singer and songwriter, were introduced by the label Def Jam Recordings and they became friends before working together on several projects.

Logic pitched the premise he envisioned and Hines said he went from there, writing the story and then directing the video, which has garnered more than 164 million views on YouTube since it was released Aug. 17. 

Played by Coy Stewart, an up-and-coming actor, the boy in the video deals with his father's anger, his peers' taunts and a tentative relationship. 

"I think this project has spoken to people and I'm really thankful for the opportunity to be able to write and direct something like this," Hines said. "Every character in the video is someone that can watch it and see themselves." 

The piece features some familiar faces. Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle plays the boy's father, Luis Guzmán of Boogie Nights is a high school coach and Nolan Gould of Modern Family plays the protagonist's friend. 

Hopes people can relate to characters

Hines said he was moved to learn the song also prompted a surge in calls to the help line.

"The impact has been pretty incredible," he said, adding that he hopes it has touched people who are "feeling lost and alone."

Though he's now based in Los Angeles, Hines said his home province "is a constant inspiration."  

"The way that we connect with people in the Maritimes and the way that we are open, and willing to talk to strangers and happy to, we're an open people, that point of view has always stayed with me in my pursuit in telling stories, telling stories objectively but personally," he said. 

"You don't necessarily have to live in big city centres, metropolises like New York, Paris, London to get your start. "

Hines isn't the only Maritime artist whose work is being recognized. P.E.I.-born and Halifax-based singer Rose Cousins's album Natural Conclusion is nominated for best engineered album. 

About the Author

Elizabeth McMillan is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. Over the past 10 years, she has reported from the edge of the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic Coast and loves sharing people's stories. She can be reached at elizabeth.mcmillan@cbc.ca