Early in the video for "One Night (Country Cool)" by Michael Webster featuring Thyra, there's a shot of the Earth with a line from space zeroing in on Fort Worth. A second line shoots eastward, around the globe and out of sight.
The eastward line doesn't go through England, but Webster's video will: According to an email he received from MTV's production team, the clip will premiere on June 3 on MTV in the U.K.
In the video, shot in southeast Fort Worth, Webster wears (and raps about) a Funkytown cap and has a pistol belt buckle. Thyra, a Houston-based artist, is wearing a cowboy hat and has a Texas belt buckle. Another member of the crew is wearing a cap with a Dallas Cowboys star on it. In a couple of shots, Webster and Thyra appear on horseback.
"As a Fort Worth resident, parent of a kid born at John Peter Smith, and musician, I am proud to take my George Strait Resistol-wearing, horseback-riding music video 'One Night (Country Cool)' over the pond," Webster says in an email. "I have been granted permission by the music gods to capture a moment of time for the MTV audience who has never heard of Fort Worth, Texas or our residents."
Webster says that the song was actually recorded in 2012, and was included on an album released in 2013. "We've been doing steady promotion on the album for a while," he says in a later phone conversation, "which included a series of music videos. One of the videos was the one that got picked up and seen ... in the United Kingdom."
How the video came to the attention of MTV's England operation has been difficult to ascertain. We've been attempting to reach a representative for MTV England, but so far have been unsuccessful.
Webster believes it was just a matter of hard work and consistent promotion. The video has been on YouTube, where as of 1:30 p.m. Friday it was just past 142,500 views, and he believes someone from MTV England may have spotted it there.
"It's in a totally different country. They're looking at everything," he says. "They're looking at the horses we're riding, they're looking at the hats we're wearing. And it was beautifully shot by [Fort Worth photographer] Rashad Goff."
Webster, 32, says he's been making music for 14 years. In 2005, he left the University of North Texas to take music-business courses at Dallas Sound Lab in Irving. But he's proudest of his Fort Worth roots.
"Fort Worth, Funkytown — there's a rich, even underground, in regards to hip-hop music," he says. "I plan to ride it out. I can read about it but I'm actually experiencing it. Something about the 'rapping cowboy' from Fort Worth.
"There's a lot of history [here]," he continues. "But there's a lot more history to be made. I know it's growing in population and people love that vibe, but there's a lot of history here, a rich history in this city."