WATCH: Maltese Rapper Releases Tribute To Friend Who Died In Tragic Traffic Accident
"We had just spoken on the phone before the tragedy"
Earlier this year, 24-year-old Rhys Celeste died in a traffic accident when he lost control of his quad-bike and veered onto an oncoming bus. Rhys, who was famous in the local electronic music scene as Microlith, was mourned by many fans and friends alike. Eight months later, Maltese rapper Digby has released a new song and music video remembering his old friend and collaborator.
"The new music video from my upcoming release had to be dedicated to a special person," Digby explained in a Facebook post sharing the song, aptly named Forever. "This one is for you brother. You are always with us in spirit, you live on".
"I’ve known Rhys for a long time since we were kids,so you can imagine why the track came out so emotional," Digby told Lovin Malta. "We did music together, apart from that we were always chilling out with each other. I can still hear my good friend laughing and see him always smiling. That's one of the best qualities he had."
"He supported my music a lot; we were always pushing each other to keep breaking boundaries and get better," Digby said. "I’m sure he is very proud of what we did. It wasn’t easy to go through the process of writing it and film it but I’m happy it was done in his name.
The lyrics are a heartbreaking tribute to the two's friendship, and the music video is the perfect accompaniment.
Peppered into the video are various clips from Rhys' childhood, with 90s home-videos every Maltese person will instantly recognise. As Digby raps, a three and six-year old Rhys can be seen opening presents at a birthday party, at the beach with his family, and just fooling around in his pjs.
The song is a collaboration between Digby and other key figures in the scene the Maltese rapper belongs to. The videography was taken care of by Keith Falzon, Digby's bandmate in the popular metal-hip-hop giants ClubMurder.
Another band member and key collaborator is David Depasquale, who contributed his mixing and mastering skills at Spinesplitter Studio. The track was produced by renowned Boston-based producer C-Lance, a big name in the underground hip-hop scene. "Most importantly though, he's a producer Rhys liked a lot," Digby told Lovin Malta.
Fusing genres together even more is Liam Coleiro, a childhood friend of Rhys who added a guitar track and solo to the rap song. "Hope you're doing well up there buddy," Liam said in a Facebook post sharing the tribute. "Till we meet again my friend".
"Liam did an amazing job with the guitar," Digby told Lovin Malta. "You can feel how close him and Rhys were in the guitar solo and how emotional the playing is."
Forever, which is available on iTunes, is Digby's first single from his new album 300 Mics. Digby will be releasing the EP this Saturday, with the launch taking place at Manoel Island's The Funky Monkey.