Shaé Universe Celebrates The Black Women Who Came Before Her In 'Levels' Video

Shaé Universe Celebrates The Black Women Who Came Before Her In 'Levels' Video

August 27, 2020

Since rebranding herself as Shaé Universe, the Nigerian-born singer-songwriter has made it her mission to remain creatively fearless and not let anyone clip her wings. Earlier this year she fused R&B with drill for an inspired take on the sound and now she's back with "Levels", a track that's sure to make an even bigger impact.

After experiencing what she describes as "some bitchy behaviour I'd observed amongst industry individuals," she started to wonder how her heroes navigated it all. Looking through iconic moments in music history from the likes of Aaliyah, Rihanna, Missy Elliot, Grace Jones, Erykah Badu, it gave her a renewed sense of empowerment. Inspired by those greats, the "Levels" video pays tribute with direct homages to them all.

"Contrary to speculation, the song 'Levels' actually isn't about a guy," she explained. "Levels was written as a reminder to all that you are enough and are capable of consistent elevation. It's so easy, especially being a Black woman in the UK music industry, to feel overlooked and under-appreciated, resulting in fleeting confidence and self-doubt."

"I couldn't include all the icons I had in mind due to time constraints, but during my research period leading up to the video shoot I felt so empowered recounting all the beautiful queens that impacted the music or fashion industry in one way or another. It made me love and appreciate myself more."

Words: James Keith
Photography: Karis Beaumont