Colombian artist Manchado sptlights his native country’s queer community in “Mona Lisa,” a new video and single featuring New York-based Xhosa, who also hopped on as co-producer. A fusion of classic reggaeton sounds with an experimental, Arca-inspired twist, the song is “about someone that lures you in and leaves you hanging,” Manchado says. “Like the Mona Lisa, you can’t decipher their true intentions.”
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The visual, premiering today on PAPER, stars ballroom pioneers Demonia and Pantera Yeguaza, as Manchado dramatically descends from the ceiling in a purple-and-black harness that looks like it’s dripping down from his body. Flipping between Spanish and English lyrics, Manchado declares, “I’m here for business, not a good time,” as the performers all move seductively around a DIY set.
“The process of this video was a little different from my previous ones,” Manchado says of his latest production, following videos like “Azucar” in 2021 or “Sword” in 2020. “I usually work around some sort of narrative from what the song is about, but this time I worked around materials that reflected what the song felt like sonically.”
“Mona Lisa” is as much a radical fashion film as it is a music video, centering Manchado’s own designs alongside local collaborator Altabasura.
“All the looks I made with Altabasura and we created them in what felt like a lab, experimenting with things like slime, plastic and old clothes and seeing what came out of it,” Manchado says. “I feel like I learned to embrace the chaos of being spontaneous on not overthinking too much while making this.”
Watch and stream "Mona Lisa," with Xhosa, Manchado's first big release of 2022.
Photo courtesy of Frank Sanchez
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