In this Dazed exclusive video premiere, the singer steps into a new era of artistry – with direction by Stephen Isaac-Wilson and single artwork by Rafael Pavarotti
After years stuck in a major label quagmire, Nadiah Adu-Gyamfi is taking the opportunity to reclaim her own narrative. “I was really naive, and I didn’t have the strength to confront the people who doubted me as I didn’t understand my own power,” the singer says of her time at Virgin EMI, where she released music under the moniker MOKO. Afterwards, she struggled with feelings of powerlessness, fighting what she calls a “losing battle” with debilitating anxiety. In the face of such hardship, some artists might retreat, stung by a system that prioritises mass appeal over true artistry. But not Adu-Gyamfi.
“‘Draw The Line’ was written in a time where I felt enough was enough,” says the singer. “I was tired of making myself smaller to fit the industry standards of who they wanted me to be. I had no choice but to take my own destiny into my hands and reclaim a new sense of freedom”. In the video for the new track – premiered exclusively on Dazed Digital – Adu-Gyamfi emerges from her chrysalis as NADIAH, a new chapter that the artist refers to as a “reintroduction and a celebration”.
The video, directed by friend and collaborator Stephen Isaac-Wilson, introduces us to a reclining NADIAH, chiaroscuro lighting illuminating her silhouette against a stark, black background. “We chose to strip it back and focus on the feeling behind the message,” she says of the video’s creative vision. “When Stephen listened to it, he was so into the idea of this being the opening of a new chapter. We wanted it to be strong and refined.” NADIAH’s soulful vocal asserts this strength across the track’s infectious drumbeat, culminating in a visual and sonic crescendo of juddering beats, bursting lights and fast cuts.
“Stephen was so specific about the way we lit the visual and was meticulous in his intentions, right down to the tiny details,” says NADIAH about the video shoot. “Our visions were completely aligned, and we collectively chose to lean into intricate ways of lighting to further illuminate the power of this message.” Similarly, when we spoke to Isaac-Wilson about the experience, he had nothing but love to give. “I’ve known NADIAH for a while, and it’s been wonderful to see her come into her own and celebrate her independence,” the filmmaker said. “The video was a chance to document that metamorphosis – to find her voice, her light and her groove.”
Alongside the music video, photographer Rafael Pavarotti, another close friend and collaborator of NADIAH, has lensed the single’s cover art. “Raf and I speak a lot about mirroring and magnifying each other’s light”, NADIAH says of their creative partnership. “His vision was to reflect my heart and enhance the celestial beams within, bringing it to the forefront with elegance, grace and authenticity.” And with these bold visual statements, NADIAH has leapt into a new era of her artistry, strong, defiant, and creatively free.
“Draw The Line” is out November 17.