Musical icon Neneh Cherry played an important role in British protest and pop in the 80s and 90s, moving from Sweden – where she was born in 1964 – to London when she was just 16 and becoming involved in the city’s punk and squatting scene. She’s not stopped protesting since, either; her new single, Kong, references the history of colonialism, alongside Europe’s current refugee crisis.
“Every nation seeks its / friends in France & Italy / and all across the seven seas / and goddamn guns and guts and bitter love still put a hole in me,” Cherry sings, inviting the listener to imagine the world of violence and desperation that such refugees seek to escape.
Produced by Four Tet and 3D – of Massive Attack – the song is showcased in a new video by London’s own Jenn Nkiru, who has previously worked on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “APESHIT”, as well as Kamasi Washington’s latest album, Heaven and Earth. The video snaps back and forth between shots of slow-swaying dancers and Cherry singing, her bare skin spattered with white paint.
Also involved in the Kong project is the acclaimed photographer, and Turner Prize-winner, Wolfgang Tillmans, who shot the single’s artwork.
Listen to Neneh Cherry speak in Dazed and Sonos’ Open House podcast from earlier this year, and watch the new Kong video below.