Mark Nakhla ’13, the Wes junior who casually taught himself American Sign Language as a freshman and garnered viral attention earlier this year for his sleek ASL video interpretation of Drake’s “Headlines,” is back with his most elaborate sign video yet. This time around, Nakhla sticks to hip hop and goes with Jay-Z and Kanye’s “No Church in the Wild,” from Watch The Throne. With help from fellow signers Sam Choi ’12 and Greg Faxon ’14, Nakhla motions the track’s verses against a handful of intriguing backdrops—including Miller’s Pond, the roof of Judd, the bell tower, and an eerily lit Memorial Chapel. Get it? Church? Wild? There’s also some mean sign/dance choreography by Choi and an appearance by a demolished house that cameraman Adam Keller ’14, who filmed the video with Noah Korman ’14, swears is real. Whatever the story may be, it’s perfect for the clip.
“All of us have different styles and that really shows in the video,” writes Nakhla. “Sam is one awesome dancer. His choreography in this song includes sign with dance and is probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while.” Keller, meanwhile, published his own account of the video’s filming in the Argus. Apparently Roth Dog himself apparated during the video shoot to grant the crew access to the bell tower.
For more of Nakhla’s sign video work, check out “Headlines” here or earlier videos on YouTube, including interpretations of “The Call,” “Fireworks,” “Secrets,” and “Stereo Hearts.” There’s also an interview with Nakhla himself at the Argus‘ website.