Rina Sawayama is pop’s bright future in her new music video ‘Cherry’
Following the release of her latest single ‘Cherry’, a glistening pop tune navigating lust and budding sexuality, London’s RINA SAWAYAMA has just released its experimental visuals. The pop futurist redirects the whimsy of her track into a stripped back music vid, featuring lush costuming and a diverse cast of dancers.
As the song details the intense feelings of falling for a stranger and questioning your own sexual identity, the video retells the story and its themes through choreography and thematic imagery. The classic pop contents and excessive noughties inspirations of the song are reinterpreted, with the help of director Isaac Lock, into contemporary dance in a dingy studio. Among dancers clad in black Sawayama shines in flowing textures and bright pink pin curls, playing up the movement of her garments and expressiveness of her face.
Inspired by a princess from Japanese folklore, Sawayama’s face makeup and costumes featuring grand silhouettes, airy fabrics and fabulous head gear play up her regality and femininity. Even the cast of back up dancers and their choreography was chosen to highlight these themes, as choreographer Joelle Fontaine explains, “I specifically casted several POC Queer dancers fully embracing their femininity as that’s something you don’t see. So the movement is based around the struggle of coming to terms with what society has told you is wrong, but in the end is a justified feeling.”
Across the whole video, images of rose petals, feathery bouquets and gold lustre elevate this even further celebrating the strength of tenderness. ‘Cherry’ uses glossy pop production to articulate the struggles of internalised bi-phobia, and in its visuals Rina Sawayama highlights the power that can come out of that struggle and the strength you can find in your own identity.
PHOTO BY Lillie Eiger
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL