At first listen, Solange’s “Losing You” is a song about denial. That moment when you run up five flights of stairs, tears streaming as you bang on his door begging him to give it one more chance. Tell me the truth, boy, am I losing you for good? the Madewell model pleads on the brand-new, Dev Hynes-produced track. But while Solo’s tone says she already knows that even the asking is useless, the video, released on Tuesday, seems to suggest otherwise.
No, it doesn’t offer a storybook ending, but the clip does show that when things fall apart, it helps to know your (very fashionable) friends will have your back. Filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, it comes on the heels of a teaser in which Beyoncé’s baby sis and her crew played a slo-mo game of Suck and Blow that ended in a languorous kiss. So shifting from a living room installation built by the very dope Mickalene Thomas for her preview, Solange traveled to the Cape for the long-form video.
What we discovered was too much Malick Sidibé-inspired goodness in Melina Matsoukas’ (“Your Body,” “S&M”) latest visual for us to do justice to every frame, so we zeroed in on five of our favorite scenes. (Read on and share your picks in the comments!)
On the Radio
In one of the first few setups in “Losing You,” Solange bops her shoulders in front of a colorful display of vintage radios. Spread out like tchotchkes on some shelves, the dusty antiques look like throwbacks to an age when Emerson and Zenith supplied the electronics. Later, the camera returns to this scene, panning out briefly to reveal that this is in fact the kitchen in her modest pad. Oh, and a gentleman is sipping tea there … a recurring motif.
The onetime Carol’s Daughter spokesperson had all but become the club president for natural black girls everywhere since snipping her chemically processed tresses and opting to rock a ’fro back in July 2009. But given the ever-outspoken Houston native’s recent decision to cut ties with the company — she couldn’t get them to agree with her message that “the way we wear our hair is a personal choice” — it seems intentional that a key scene is filmed outside a co-ed beauty shop. The painted white exterior of the salon includes ads for an array of cuts and looks, from Dark & Lovely relaxers to “German” and “English” styles … as if to say, “You’re lovely any way you wear your locks.’
Dressed in a high-waisted orange suit, Solange and a band of dandies right out of the Congolese Le Sape Society (or Society for the Advancement of People of Elegance), take peacocking to the next level in the “Losing You” video. Accessories include everything from trophies to parasols to an eye patch, à la ’80s MC Slick Rick. If there’s a fashion duel ahead, I can’t think of a better crew to run with.
SK and her homeys occupy a section of an empty stadium with long-necked soda bottles in hand in this upbeat scene. They pose for snaps and throw up bunny ears behind the leading lady, while another couple cuddles for the lens. Put simply it looks like the kind of day that lets you forget your troubles. We can’t forget to mention the carefully selected wardrobe: an eye-catching mish-mash of prints and textures, likely from many of the brands (Opening Ceremony and Kenzo to Suno and J.Crew) that Solange name-checked in an interview with MTV Style.
BONA Fide Fashion Star
Although we’re about all things digital, we still get pangs of nostalgia for mags. The scene where Solange seems to blend into a wall that’s papered with glossy covers sent us straight to the ’Net to Google the title. Turns out Bona is a popular South African monthly. Fitting, because when it comes to this scene, we subscribe! It’s a rare shot of the singer alone, pensive, and it brings the focus back to Hynes’ sublime songwriting.
Share your favorite “Losing You” scenes in the comments below!