Zimbabwe-born British artist KWAYE has shared the beautifully-choreographed video for his latest song, “What Have You Done“.
The Femi Ladi-directed video premiered via Complex and uses choreography to not only express himself but also help take a step forward in the healing process, touching on KWAYE’s own feelings of self discovery. This performative piece is far from solemn as the actual song might suggest – it’s bold in colour, expressive in movement and ultimately inspiring.
In his own words, “The video for ‘What Have You Done‘ is about rediscovering identity: through the movement and styling, we wanted to create a visual world where various parts of the African diaspora melded together. Each of the three looks is a reference to three different points in western black history that I never discovered in my western school books.”
“The nude colours refer to colours worn on the plantations before slavery’s abolition in the US; the green and yellow outfits reference black music in the 70s, and the crossover/emergence of hip-hop in New York from funk and disco; the final looks are inspired by the global movement of black bodies in the 40s – from the Second Great Migration across the US, to the Windrush Generation…”
African-inspired contemporary movement is the common denominator of all the different shots in the video, just as Africa is the root of black histories.