Kamilah's "Beautiful Boy" Music Video Is A Touching Tribute To Black Vulnerability [Premiere]
Kamilah's latest music video was directed by Maria Govan, who has also served as a director for Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar series.
"You are made of parts both hard and soft — nuance. Born with the same capacity to hold tenderness in your hands, you are more than the sum of all the weight placed on your shoulders."
The statement, offered by artist Kamilah, beautifully and poignantly captures what her a music video for "Beautiful Boy" is about: the importance of allowing Black boys and other boys of color the opportunity to be vulnerable in a world that doesn't allow them to be.
Filmed in the Bahamas (although Kamilah is NYC-based, her hometown is Nassau) with a Bahamian cast and Bahamian Director Maria Govan (Random Acts of Flyness and Piu Piu director Naima Ramos-Chapman served as editor), "Beautiful boy" isn't just an ode to the Bahamas (the video was shot in a number of notable locations including the Historic Gambier Village in Nassau) but a tribute to Black vulnerability, and cultivating and envisioning a space where such is not only allowed but encouraged.
"The song aims to remind us all of the strength of emotional intelligence, which is vital in holding ourselves accountable. I hope to challenge the idea that we don't have the power to change the way we emotionally relate to our shifting narratives," Kamilah said in an e-mail. "I wanted the video to celebrate the magic that can come from being reminded that you are loved and empowered by your emotions; to show that there can be peace (from within/divine) in desolate spaces."
Govan also spoke of the importance of some of the video's more striking scenes, particularly one that involved several Bahamians in a large body of water that surrounds the Bahamian islands.
"Kamilah and I wanted to elevate the imagery with use of our natural elements — the water of the ocean in particular, as the sea is the great mother. The womb-like quality — deep, life-giving and ever present — that surrounds our Bahamian islands," Govan said. "We talked about African spirits and ancestors, who would hold this young man in the dream space, suggesting a love beyond our earthly attachments."
"Beautiful Boy" comes from Kamilah's Learning Curve album, which was released last year. The artist has three upcoming shows: March 12 as a part of In Good Sounds' monthly concert series, March 13 at Rockwood Music Hall, and April 9 at The Django. Kamilah can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.