By Egotist / /
In the midst of unprecedented times, the world has turned to art and music to find a sense of healing, and what better opportunity to relish in these offerings than to look to RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bebe Zahara Benet and her vibrant, just-released single and music video titled “Banjo.” The afrobeat-infused anthem is the first from her upcoming EP “Broken English,” a follow-up to the previously celebrated “Face” and “Jungle Kitty.”
A multi-colored visual experience brought to life by famed director-producer duo Assaad Yacoub & Alex Lampsos, “Banjo” is imbued with Bebe’s signature style and musical chops while paying homage to her African roots. Through numerous, uniquely designed spaces emulating various color stories, from a vintage red bedroom to a retro kitchen and all-pink dressing room, Bebe is unveiled as a sassy thread that ventures through each world while sharing her music with monotonous characters. The resulting contrast paints a playful and uplifting narrative, reminding us to try to not take life too seriously and to find the joy in the little things. Amongst the video’s characters are famed actors and performers from all walks of life, from Mean Girls’ Daniel Franzese, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’s Jai Rodriquez and Dexter Mayfield (Taylor Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down”).
As a Cameroonian drag artist that has stayed true to her origins ever since her inaugural win on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bebe wanted to bring a new perspective to her artistry as she continues to reinvent herself. “I wanted to flip the standard love song on its head,” she shares. “Banjo is about someone who isn’t impressed with cliche pick-up lines, flashes of wealth or smooth talk, dismissing those who aren’t willing to approach you on your own terms. And when you look at the visuals, they’re very colourful. It’s a fusion. It definitely makes you want to move and dance.”
BeBe’s upcoming EP is a love letter to Africa scheduled to be released on April 24th, 2020.
Director: Assaad Yacoub
Executive Producers: Bebe Zahara Benet, David Charpentier, Jacob Slane, Ryan Aceto
Produced by: Alex Lampsos
Creative Direction: Randall Starr & Diego Wyatt
Director of Photography: Jon Schweigart
Editors: Nick Landa & Coralie Jeanquier
VFX Artist: Luka Stemberger
Guest Stars: Daniel Franzese, Jai Rodriguez, Dexter Mayfield, Drama Del Rosario, Jason Carter, Sampson McCormick, JeanPaul Acocella
Dancers: Nkeiruka Igbonagwam, Nikki Altidor
Courtesy of PEG Records, Warner Music Group & Alternative Distribution Alliance