Executive creative director at MassiveMusic Warsaw, Michał Krajewski, reflects on five music videos that in one way or another surround the recently celebrated International Women's Day
International Women’s Day has become a great touchpoint to look into some of the latest music video clips released in past weeks. Observing how the sex paradigm has been changing in past 20 years, the narrative today says: “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want!”. The freedom of expression - whether that be deeply artistic or simply hustlin' - makes me humbly believe we are entering the age of women. But also in the spirit of balance, and as an extra, I am sharing a fully male-based track, performed live many years ago in Krasnoyarsk's Che Guevara Club in Ukraine. While celebrating life, let’s not forget our brothers and sisters who wanted a change, who wanted to live but must fight now for their freedom...
Mitski - 'Stay Soft'
I was influenced by (or exposed to) the style of acts like Army of Lovers, The Cure and Depeche Mode. I hear and see those inspirations returning to the mainstream and I welcome those with big interest. The costumes as well as the script that involves a murder and the character’s drama revokes the times when music videos where short-form films. Mitski’s fantastic international background (born half-Japanese, half-American and have lived in various countries worldwide) led to creating art that is consistent musically and visually.
Ravyn Lenae ft. Steve Lacy - 'Skin Tight'
I look at this Barbie / mannequin tribute as ambivalent, yet with the simplified 3D animation and staged reality it makes this clip a winner. Somewhere between a commercial, game demo and a packshot, I can somehow feel the romance and emotions. I read this music clip again as tribute - one to Barbie dolls and the quirky ‘girls are playing with fake, model toys’, but also to early 2000s R&B clips of Brandy or TLC - times when Kelly would text Nelly from a spreadsheet...
Saweetie ft. H.E.R - 'Closer'
When I meant paradigm change, I meant that! 20 years later we have P.Diddy (FKA Puff Daddy) and MA$E-style videos starring women as hosts! Not sex-toys or chauvinistic add on to a story - we see women lead, hustle and take over the business. Again, love those little references to old school classics like the airport dance in front of the aeroplane. It’s posh, it’s power, it’s get-out-of-my-way.
Fefe Dobson - 'FCKN IN LOVE'
With guitar-like synths and a powerful chorus, Fefe Dobson is Rihanna meets Alice Cooper. A back-in-the-days rock hit produced so well today that it would make the audience of any festival come together! Unspecified space and visuals in the backgrounds mimic rebel looks and Michael Jackson’s leather jackets. Also the choreography and the moves - they just feel so natural making the whole explosive song and music clip so real.
Natalia Przybysz - 'Jest Miłość'
Here is a women-studded song and clip. Firstly, Natalia Przybysz is a brave, super talented Polish singer who composed and performed music to unpublished lyrics of late Kora (Maanam). Moreover, Natalia has presented a music clip where she has invited many other independent Polish artist of many forms: Maria Dębska, Agnieszka Szpila, Ilona Ostrowska, Iza Szostak, Justyna Jaworska, Zamilska, Nitya (Patrycja Pruchnik), Silvia Pogoda. Tied in a modern dance choreography on a theatre scene, they flow and co-exist being supportive and trustful to one another. This is how I see modern feminism becoming part of the mainstream and modern societies.
5`NIZZA - 'Солдат' / 'Soldier'
5'NIZZA (slang spelling of Ukrainian: п'ятниця [ˈpjɑtnɪtsʲɐ] meaning ‘Friday’) - a duo with a big recognition in central and eastern Europe, and this song ‘Soldat’ (Soldier) is about how freedom has been deeply rooted in the hearts of Ukrainians. Have a look at this live clip recorded in 2005. See the people, hear the music (you can translate the lyrics online). No matter what we all believe in, we should all stand united for the people of Ukraine and realise they are the same as us. Slava Ukraini!