For his latest music video producer Elderbrook (he/him) has handed over the visuals for the cinematic track “Broken Mirror” to allow queer creatives to tell their own authentic stories. Helmed by photographer and director Jordan Rossi (he/him) in collaboration with multi-disciplinary artist and creator Darkwah (they/them), this narrative showcases the issues facing so many queer people in 2021.
Following a day in the life of a queer performer (played by Darkwah) the audience witnesses, with unflinching realism, the aggressions and microaggressions that impact personal safety and their mental health. Everything from being stared at in their local corner store to being harassed in the street to having their hair pulled or being touched inappropriately in what should be deemed a “safe space”.
The support from Elderbrook and Parlophone marks the start of a number of LGBTQIA+ activations that support the community. These range from Instagram live sessions with Elderbrook sharing his platform again with the likes of Jordan and Darkwah to curated Spotify playlists that highlight emerging queer musicians to an eventual event at a leading LGBTQIA+ venue with proceeds going towards Mermaids – a charity of Jordan and Darkwah’s choice.
Speaking exclusively to HUNGER, Darkwah said; “I think, for a long time, the plight of queer people, queer people of colour, trans people and performers of that ilk have been ignored because it wasn’t right in the face of people. You know, you’d hear about the shitty things that happen to us and our community in the news and though it may be in your neighborhood, it happened at night, so you’re a little removed from it. Or it happened in a part of town you think is sketchy so you are removed from it. This video puts a lot of it into perspective for everyone.And it puts it in their faces.”
Continuing, they explain that the video depicts the aggression and discrimination directed towards LGBTQIA+ people of colour today. “Your (not so) sly picture taking is an aggression. Your touching our hair or grabbing our bodies (even if you think you’re being friendly) is an aggression because it says you don’t see us as people but rather possessions that you can push and pull at your will and when we don’t do what you want, we are the problem.” They add that; “I’m excited for this video to come out because I think it will cause a lot of people to reflect on the ways in which they treat others. The ways in which they may have contributed to someone’s existence being made harder as they’re simply trying to survive. I’m so proud of Jordan Rossi for choosing to go this way with the video. I’m proud and honoured to be a part of it and I’m grateful to Elderbrook for giving over his platform in this way.”
Rossi, also in an exclusive conversation with HUNGER, explains that the video represents a major milestone in his career. “This is probably one of my proudest pieces of work. It’s a long time coming and very much the culmination of a chapter not only of my life but my career. It’s a very personal piece of work on a few levels. First of all, it was commissioned by Parlophone who were my first major music video commission back in 2018 with the hit track from Blonde ‘Me, Myself & I’ featuring Bryn Christopher. For that video we did a queer Studio 54 vibe and it was incidentally the first time I worked with Darkwah. So the stars have all aligned again for this video but “Broken Mirror| is a much more political piece of work and definitely represents the plight of queer people in 2021.
He also details the creative process behind the video, explaining that; “I wrote the idea with Darkwah in mind based on several conversations and experiences we’ve had together and separately. I really wanted to illustrate the tightrope we as queer people have to walk on a daily basis. On the one hand we’re encouraged to be ourselves and live our lives authentically, particularly around Pride season, but then on the other hand we’re harassed and victimised both physically and online. We’re encouraged to be queer but only if it’s palatable for certain audiences.”
Check out the video in full below.