After hearing Wild Beasts’ latest single “Alpha Female”, taken from the UK band’s fifth album Boy King, director Sasha Rainbow was inspired to shoot one of the growing female skateboarding scenes outside of the western world. “In places like Afghanistan, Cambodia, and India, skating has not been solidified as a male sport and therefore has had a massive cultural impact, teaching values about self-empowerment through skateboarding,” she explains. “Because of the current political climate in the west and attitudes of intolerance and sexism across the world, I wanted to create a video that celebrates everyone who takes the risk to be themselves.”
Rainbow went to Bangalore, India to film the city’s skate scene, following India’s first professional female skater Atita Verghese and collectives like Girl Skate India and the Holystoked Skate Crew. Meeting the community left such an impact on her that she intends to return to the city to film a longer documentary about them. “The girls that I worked with are an inspiration,” she says. “I wanted to commemorate this incredible moment in India and show how massive cultural change can start with just one person.”
As Wild Beasts singer Hayden Thorpe explains, the song is “a tale of showing yourself, of pushing off the earth to gather momentum, of leaning into resistance and meeting it with bravery and composure. Don’t we all seek the exhilaration of showing ourselves to the world? And when we do show ourselves isn’t it obvious how much we are made of an exquisite clutter of strengths and fragilities undefinable by gender?” The video, released as the band announce a new series of tour dates, reflects this forward momentum. “Sasha told me that in India, time has a different quality,” Thorpe says. “It slows down when you move through it, as if made of thicker stuff. The skateboarding girls and women in ‘Alpha Female’ appear to have found a sublime vehicle for slicing through time more quickly. They are in a hurry, speeding time up, pulling their generation along.”
Watch the video above.