Manta Rays go Heavy Metal: the Making Of a Music Video

May 9, 2022 | Personal Stories, Underwater Photography & Filmography

In the summer of 2021, I was contacted by Priyam Srivastava, a musician based in San Francisco.

Priyam is the drummer and founder of the heavy metal band “The Second Fovea”. Their aim is to bring a positive change into the world with meaningful music. Watch their story on YouTube here!

The Second Fovea was about to launch a new (instrumental) track called “Manta”. And looking for inspiration, Priyam had downloaded my free ebook (Manta Ray Facts & Figures, grab it here!), and sent an email asking if I’d like to collaborate with them.

You might ask “What do manta rays have to do with heavy metal?”, and I actually asked myself the same question LOL… but I’ve never shied away from out-of-the-box collaborations.

Past Collaborations

I love teaming up with people doing very different things, as I believe they’re a great way to spread awareness about manta rays, marine life, and ocean conservancy.

In 2017, I worked with illustrator Jackie Mask to create my children’s book “Notch, the Rescued Dolphin”.

In 2020, I collaborated with meditation teacher Amanda Weber and recorded a series of guided meditation videos, featuring manta rays in their natural environment.

And in 2021, veteran teacher Maurianne Nohejlj and I created teaching materials based on the story of Notch and his friends from the book. Together, we developed a fun and engaging resource to teach the General Learner Outcome (GLO), the over-arching goals of standards-based learning for Grade 1-6.

So it was no surprise that I was intrigued by Priyam’s request…

The Making of Manta, a Heavy Metal Music Video

With their newest track “Manta”, The Second Fovea wants to raise awareness about the importance of marine life – and about how we can help protect the oceans.

They were looking for a high-quality video doing justice to the majestic mantas… and I was happy to oblige!

Over the course of the next weeks, we went back and forth – I sent him manta ray footage, as he created different versions of the music video.

It was such a fun project to be a part of, and I’m very proud to present:

Manta Rays always were Rock Stars

Diving with manta rays is a lot like attending a rock concert.

From 1998 to 2017, we were always on scuba with a camera and filmed the divers and snorkelers on the tour boats. (These days, we enter the ocean from shore and go snorkeling with our guests on the moonlight manta ray experience.)

Imagine being submerged and sitting on the bottom of the ocean, about 30 feet (10 meters) deep, and looking towards the surface: you can see all the bubbles go up, lights shining towards the surface – manta rays dancing in between – and that absolutely feels like a rock concert.

People would come back from the dive and say “it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life”.

This music video reflects that feeling.

I truly hope that with this new video, heavy metal listeners will learn more about the world of the manta rays. The ocean, marine life, and manta rays are in dire need of protection.

My hope is to inspire listeners to do the right thing and propel this world forward towards a sustainable future for all of us.

Related resources

  • If you’re new to the world of manta rays, check out the Manta Ray Facts & Figures ebook here (it’s free). Or visit this page to learn all there is to know about the gentle giants of the ocean!
  • In this article, I wrote all about the threats manta rays face and why they need protection.
  • Want to know what you can do through digital advocacy (from the comfort of your home) to save the ocean and protect manta rays? Read more here!

Become a manta ray advocate today

Download the free ebook to learn more about the gentle giants and discover what you can do to protect them and other marine life from extinction.



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