Baby Queen, a creative tour-de-force born Bella Latham who was raised in Durban, South Africa, and now lives in London, has shared the video for her newest single “ Buzzkill .” The track, out via Polydor, distills Baby Queen’s signature soft-grunge guitar-pop with pulsing synths and a sugary chorus that belies the inner darkness she expresses. Shot in an East London studio, the colorful clip was directed by rising filmmaking duo Bedroom (Beabadoobee, The 1975, Sports Team) and styled by Patricia Villirillo , and sees Baby Queen take on a number of guises as she tries and fails to be the life of the party.
“The song is about being really depressed at a party, but feeling that you are, in a way, being coerced to be positive by friends who think you are a killjoy or a buzzkill,” Baby Queen explains. “I really wanted the concept of the video to mirror that. I think when you’re depressed, you’re very detached from reality and incredibly apathetic, so everything around you is impersonal, which is why I wanted to use people’s hands as opposed to their full bodies or any show any other identifiable parts of them. The concept is built around the manipulation of me by the hands, which are completely choreographed and quite surreal. I really wanted the viewer to feel disconnected from everything but the lyric and the central performance.”
“We put a massive focus on styling and props,” she continues, “and I was wearing Ashish for most of the video because it’s so shiny and so over the top which I thought could really juxtapose with the sadness of the lyric and the apathy in performance. It was a one day shoot, and honestly it was the strangest day of my life. I thought we would be shooting in a small white room and I couldn’t believe the scale of the production when I arrived. I definitely didn’t expect it to be such a big deal so I was having a bit of an imposter-syndrome outer body experience. I’ve been in love with this song since the day I wrote it so I feel very lucky to have had such an incredible team working on the video with me and I feel super proud of what we created together.”
“Buzzkill” is the follow up to Baby Queen’s debut single “Internet Religion” whose release earlier this summer announced the arrival of a singular alt-pop talent. A searingly sharp pop satire, “Internet Religion” overflows with psychedelic synth shimmers and lyrics that cut right to the heart of the digital generation.
Baby Queen is a deeply personal project for 21-year old Bella, born out of feeling like a misfit as she tried to fit into London life, pulled into a vacuum of fashion parties and Instagram influencers. Exposure to a world of fake personalities and self-obsession brought her back to her first passion and she felt compelled to write songs about her experiences. “I started to write bitterly about the world that I had perceived whilst being here in London, and the way that it had changed me, and the narcissist I had become,” she says. “I got obsessed with these identities that we cultivate online; the front stage self and the backstage self, who you actually are and who you pretend to be.” And so Baby Queen was born.
Her sound is rooted in pop and mixed with a complex lyricism, inspired by artists Bella had become a fan of since moving to the UK: Little Simz, Kate Tempest, and Matty Healy of The 1975. Her songs make use of her talents as a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, bass, piano/keys, ukulele, banjo, and even a bit of drums. “I realised that I love dark, complex lyrics over a really happy-go-lucky chord progression.” While pop was always her foundation, she says her new music came out sounding more like “soft grunge, not clean pop – there’s nothing clean about it at all.”