Music artist, activist and fashion muse Layla Kardan shares the music video for Underwater, taken from her debut EP Abscission.
Directed by fashion film maker Jhenyfy Muller and former creative director of Lewis Magazine, and styled by creative director Rabih Rowell another important figure in the emerging ME fashion scene – the visual continues tackling the social issues Layla has been advocating for, the inclusion and representation of black Arabs in the UAE, Layla explains; we shot the video after the BLM protests in the USA started, I wanted to cast Ghanaian model Jamal Bright to ensure there was more representation of black artists in our region. My previous video Loyaltywas shot before the protests, there is a strong scene between the Sudanese and the white actors which we left in the final cut. It is about opening up a discussion on anti-blackness, which has long been a problem in the Middle East, but it is rarely discussed.
Underwater is the follow up to recents singles including the Wonderland Magazine-featured-featured Loyalty, No Place – in which Layla deep dived into a loveless relationship – and You, which served as an initiation to the empowering journey of loss-love and self-discovery offered by her upcoming EP Abscission. Highly praised by the likes of GQ, Vogue, Girls Are Awesome among others, with Spotify featuring her in SAWTIK – the platform’s new initiative and playlist celebrating female artists playing a pivotal role in shaping the music scene in the Middle East.
Layla is a Third Culture Kid, born in Belgium with Persian roots and Australian nationality, she currently lives in Dubai, her cross cultural background has influenced her music and, which is deeply rooted in human nature and aims to transcend cultural boundaries. Part of the new scene of artists redefining the Sound of the Middle East, Layla is more of a music artist, from working with charities including Unicef on the education of refugee children, to collaborating with some of the biggest fashion brands and including Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, as well as publications including Harpers Bazaar, GQ, Grazia, Vogue and Esquire, with the latter awarding her their Musician of The Year in 2018.
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