Last night (26 January) FKA twigs debuted the potent new video, Don’t Judge Me.
The single is the first from her new lockdown album, and it was created in collaboration with Headie One and Fred again… Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Emmanuel Adjei – who’s previously worked with Beyoncé on Black is King – Don’t Judge Me sees twigs and a star-studded cast of influential, Black British figures fight against “the invisible oppressor”. Across six minutes, twigs can be seen dancing solo in a room, trying to move towards a set of doors. She’s pushed back, turned and suspended in motion by an unseen force that halts her from entering.
The video also cuts to a scene centred around the Victorian-inspired fountain Fons Americanus, created by visual artist Kara Walker. The setting, as Adjei explains, depicts “the historical, sorrowful story of slavery and colonisation”. He added, “This important monument creates another layer of depth and meaning to an invisible yet shared history.” Stationed around the fountain is a roster of Black influentials and activists, all key to the powerful themes behind this video.
To help you get to grips with all the cameos, we’ve made a list of the stars and the groundbreaking work they’re doing today.
Broadcaster Clara Amfo joined BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2013 and has since moved over to Radio 1. On top of this, she’s somehow found the time to host for the BRITs, front the Christmas Day Top of the Pops, launch her hugely popular This City podcast and even have a whirl at Strictly (the Charleston is well-worth a watch). Her humanity and authenticity as a personality has been the key to her success. This quality was exemplified in June of last year where she used her platform for an open and emotional statement about the murder of George Floyd.
British journalist and author who became the first Black British author to top the UK bestseller list with her 2017 book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. This milestone came as a result of the global protests following the murder of George Floyd. A complex, bittersweet achievement which Eddo-Lodge discussed frankly with The Guardian.
A Bristol-based musician and spoken word artist whose profile grew considerably when he spoke to crowds from the vacant Colston statue plinth during Bristol’s Black Lives Matter protests. Since then, Solomon has been an instrumental voice in the campaign to save Bristol’s Rastafari Culture Centre in St. Pauls.
This isn’t the first time Efua Baker has collaborated with twigs, having previously starred in the Andrew Thomas Huang-directed video Cellophane. The Ghanaian-British model and dancer has appeared in numerous videos before, but in the 90s she also helmed a number of hit singles herself under the mononym Efua. In 2004 she appeared on the BBC One programme Fat Nation – the Big Challenge, and she now works as a celebrity fitness expert.
Nicole Crentsil can count entrepreneur, curator, public speaker, festival director and mental health advocate as just some of her many talents. She’s known as the CEO of Black Girl Festival, the UK’s first festival celebrating Black British girls and women. But before she co-founded that in 2017, she was also at the helm of the art exhibition and workshop series Unmasked Women, which discussed mental health in the Black community. Since then, she’s continued to work with art institutions such as the V&A, ICA, Tate Britain and Southbank Centre.
Lisa Elde is a creative who can count dancer, singer-songwriter, photographer, stylist and visual artist as her practices. Her daughter, Dejenaba (aka Damsel Elysium), is also a visual and auditory artist who’s posed alongside her mother for fashion titles such as Sleek Magazine. Keep your eyes peeled for Elde’s next project, Colour of Life, out in March.
Antiguan footballer currently playing for UK team Millwall. He also plays for the Antigua and Barbuda national team. Late last year, he spoke out about racism and discriminatory behaviour via a statement published in South London Press, after he and other Millwall players were booed by some of their own fans for taking the knee prior to a match.
Influential poet, novelist, playwright, presenter and musician born in Birmingham. His poetry is largely influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica (and what he dubs ‘street politics’) and also explores issues, politics and civil rights here in the UK. Over the course of his long-standing career, he’s ventured into a slew of new creative territories including children’s poetry, penning books such as Talking Turkeys.
Dance artist, writer, model and activist – among other things. She’s previously choreographed and created works such as Body Data, a dance piece that offered a renewed perspective on the naked, Black, female form. Crack Magazine caught up with her in 2018 for a feature discussing the radical moves of London’s dance community. She told us: “Choreographically, I’m constantly trying to subvert or challenge how society depicts womanhood or femininity, particularly Black women.” She added, “It’s nice to be part of a generation that is fighting to break, push and redefine the boundaries.”