Despite perhaps the messiest album rollout of all time, the queen is back. Rihanna’s first album in over three years – subject to countless delays – features none of the singles she released in 2015, rather all new material and an almost entirely new direction. And the album, which she finally dropped on January 28, might be Rih’s boldest move yet.
In case you didn’t know by now, FKA twigs is an artist who does things her own way. That’s certainly the case with her latest audio-visual epic, M3LL155X (pronounced “Melissa”), an expression of her “personal female energy.” Entirely self-directed, the aesthetics are what initially stand out. Fashion muse Michèle Lamy is the first face we see, wearing her go-to heavy jewels, tattooed and dyed fingertips, gold teeth, and even a fluorescent lightbulb on her head. Lamy’s stunning cameo is subsequently followed by twigs as an inflatable sex doll, a solid amount of pregnancy, some hardcore vogueing, and of course, lots of killer fashion. And while viewers would certainly raise an eyebrow at just about all of the visuals in the short film, we should ask ourselves, what does it all mean?
Guys, can we talk about one of the most epic videos ever? Our favorite badgal is back, and she’s not fucking around. Just like every other single that the singer (apparently now trap artist?) puts out, we all fell in love with Rihanna’s bumping new track when it first debuted a couple months back. And now the infectious tune seems even better, bolstered by something of a short film directed by the star herself. It’s sexual, it’s violent, it’s over-the-top, and it’s kind of everything.
*Note: This story originally appears in the Fall 2014 issue of VRLX Mag. Find out more and get your copy here!
Sometimes it feels like we’re drowning in the sea of today’s music, and we could really use a breath of fresh air. Cue The Skins, the Brooklyn-based rock band that’s giving us some tunes to get hyped about.
It was only a couple of years ago that Azealia Banks wowed the world with her painfully catchy, undeniably infectious hit, “212.” With witty lyrics and uncompromising sass, highlighted by “she really went there” expletives, Banks proved her potential as one of the most talented female rappers of all time. We all anxiously awaited the songstress’ full-length album, when she would ideally rise above social media spats and put her money where her mouth is. Well, that day has finally come. And Azealia’s doing more than just justifying her extra dose of confidence; she just about murdered any competition, while she blew critics out of the water.
Madonna did it with Jean Paul Gaultier, Kanye collaborated with Margiela, and Rihanna got it in with everyone from Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Jeremy Scott, and Adam Selman. Let’s face it, a musician/fashion brand relationship is crucial for building an image.
Unless you’ve been living on another planet, you’d probably know by now that FKA twigs is kind of everything. This is especially relevant in the fashion world, where the industry as become utterly obsessed with the doll-faced crooner with the hauntingly beautiful voice. In fact, the British Fashion Council just nominated twigs for the British Style Award, and she’s already been featured in magazines like Dazed & Confused and V.
But back to the music. Twigs recently directed and starred in a crazily captivating video for Google Glass, which featured snippets of her musically orgasmic track, “Video Girl.” The song is written about twigs herself, which she mentioned in past interviews, as she actually got her start in the music realm as a backup dancer. Her choreographic excellence has been proven countless times since she’s burst on the scene, but it’s especially apparent in her latest. Although the full music video cuts out more of the beautiful song than we’d like, “Video Girl” is full of twigs’ skillful motions, as she dances around the body of a prisoner on death row. Of course, there are some noteworthy fashion moments, too, from the singer’s bandage top and open skirt to the chain mail and cyborg-like facial garnishes. Even twigs’ ring game is on point, though we wouldn’t expect anything less. Always a stunner in every possible way, FKA twigs proves her incredible credibility with her latest single.
Watch FKA twigs’ “Video Girl” below, and check out her full album, LP1 now! And as always, share your own thoughts on the song and video!
Photo: Gwen Stefani
After rumors swirling for months about a third solo album from No Doubt front-woman Gwen Stefani, it looks like we’ve finally got an answer. The singer, songwriter, and L.A.M.B. designer (among other things) may still be working with her longtime bandmates on some new projects, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t save herself some “me-time.” Case in point: her new single, “Baby Don’t Lie.”
Following in the footsteps of her past endeavors, Gwen’s first solo track in eight years stays true to irresistibly catchy beats and infectious hooks, throwing her bubbly voice into an endearing loop. The song was co-written by producers Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, and Noel Zancanella, and it alludes to what we could potentially expect from a full release. Although there hasn’t been much more concrete information about the album yet, rumor has it that Stefani will be working with her go-to partner and fellow coach on The Voice, Pharrell Williams on a lot of the pieces. Meanwhile, if “Baby Don’t Lie” is any indicator, we can expect more depth and prevalence than even some of her most ubiquitous works (we’re looking at you, “Hollaback Girl”).
Another majorly exciting thing about a full-fledged Gwen Stefani comeback is all of the videos that will accompany her viral hits; if Gwen excels at anything (aside from what she’s already got), it’s looking damn good virtually all the time. And let’s not forget about all the magazine covers and spreads, event appearances, performances, and other moments for this style icon to shine through.
But it is all about the music after all, and there’s no doubt that Gwen’s upcoming projects will be just as sick as she’s been for the past 45 years of her existence.
Listen to “Baby Don’t Lie” below, and share your thoughts on the new single!: