Yxng Bane has a refreshing outlook on celebrating women of all shapes and sizes in the music industry.
The Rihanna singer released his Vroom music video back in March and earned applause for featuring women of all skin colours and sizes, from dark skin black to white and Asian; and slim to what the youngsters these days call thick.
It came in a year when other British rappers like Chip and Big Tobz received criticism for apparently not promoting enough diversity in their music videos – critics feel many young black male artists hardly exclude dark skin black women.
However while the conversation and debate continues in his industry, Yxng Bane chooses not to focus on the exterior but rather what the women in his videos have to offer.
The 22-year-old told Metro.co.uk: When it comes these issues, I cant speak to anyone but myself. I grew up in a very diverse area so for me theres no colour. Whether youre Caucasian or darker-skinned you could be a beautiful woman or a beautiful man.
Yxng, real name Larry Kiala, continued: I feel like sometimes we make these situations, we look for [misrepresentation]. Diversity is something that London is very well known for and you cant go anywhere in London without a mix of different races.
The Vroom music video has received more than 15 million views on YouTube and is Banes highest-charting single in the UK to date.
Addressing the diversity in the visuals, the rapper explained: When I did the Vroom video, I made sure to have the curvier women but I wouldnt even call it curvy. Id just say shes a woman.
I had a curvy model and different skin tones but that was me making a conscious decision. That time I actually got involved and said, “No, I want to have [diversity].”
While he took more of a hands-on approach with the music video, Bane admits that his creative team typically handle the hiring of models for video shoots.
The east Londoner continued: Other than that, the directors will get the models and its tailored to whatever they think is better for the video. We also need to remember that a lot of it is acting. Its not based on what the person looks like, its based on how good the acting is and how good their dancing skills are. Its not necessarily their looks.
When youre an artist, sometimes youre busy being an artist and what people also need to remember is we have everyday lives and youve got to go here and there. You have a team around you for those responsibilities.
It cant all be down to the artist however if the artist feel they want to get involved, they can get involved. Its totally up to the artist and not for the public to say you havent done this and that.
Yxng Banes latest video couldnt be more different to Vroom. The rapper has just released Slip N Slide, a collaboration with footwear brand Timberland in celebration of their 45th anniversary.
The video takes inspiration from the 90s, was shot in Banes home town of east London and honours iconic hip hop acts like Tupac, Jim Jones and Dipset, who were all fans of Timberland boots.
Bane says of the project: The 90s inspired me because I was born in 96, so as you get older and start learning yourself, you go back in history… We wanted to make sure that its very London and very relatable.
Bane shot to fame in 2016 after releasing the official remix of Ed Sheerans number one single Shape of You.
Recalling the excitement, Bane said: Shape Of You was sick, it was an amazing time in my career. I got a phone call and was told that the remix was playing on the radio.
The reaction in itself and the response was amazing. It was the point in my career that I started to dream – Id had a similar response before with Fine Wine but at that stage I didnt think, “Oh, lets make a career out of it”.
After Shape Of You, then it was like, “Oh, I can do this”.
And the rest, they say, is history.
Yxng Banes new mixtape HBK is out now.
Hes partnered with Timberland to Celebrate the Icons, with a 90s inspired music video of his new single Slip N Slide.
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