Devonté Hynes + Neneh Cherry – He She Me | Music Video
Not only is Dev Hynes’s portfolio of collaborations increasing by the minute (working with the likes of Britney Spears, Kylie Minouge, Emmy The Great and Florence + the Machine in the past), he is becoming almost the default choice for gender expression campaigns. On his Cupid Deluxe album, he provided social commentary about the LGBT community in New York and his recent production with newly-hyped act Buscabulla on “Metele”, accompanied a short documentary about the secret world for transsexuals in Puerto Rico entitled Mala Mala.
This time he is working with the outspoken Neneh Cherry – who also feels strongly about the subject and has been twisting genre conventions throughout her career – on a song called “He She Me”, which promotes a visionary new range of clothing for Agender individuals provided by Selfridges. Agender people don’t associate themselves with fixed characteristics of a particular sex and often likely to be referred to as “they” or “xe”. As this form of identification is moving its way into mainstream terminology, with support from musicians such as Elly Jackson (La Roux), Designer Faye Toogood has started a ground-breaking fashion project that allows customers to shop and dress with neutral unisex choice and without the conventional boundaries.
The music video for “He She Me” will be on display on all four Selfridge’s stores including the Oxford Street branch and follows a gender-ambiguous model as she walks through a Chiaroscuro house to greet masculine, feminine and agender dressed individuals. Iconography such as mirrors, presents in a crucifix formation and cages are symbolic of the cause before the camera pans out to reveal all the models posed in a renaissance composition.
The song itself fits the steady peace of the promo and has an alluring trip-hop atmosphere with Neneh Cherry’s calm voice rippling like water and containing a Grace Jones sensual confidence about it. When Dev Hynes’s androgynous falsetto enters, it feels a little mismatched, forced and interruptive but due to the context, it’s highly appropriate that the man in the song has the highest pitch as oppose to the stereotypical arrangement. Photography and artwork will also be part of their campaign which launches in mid-March and more information can be found here.