Mowalola Ogunlesi may be in a lane of her own creation, but she's bringing her community along for the rainbow-colored ride.
The Lagos-born fashion designer and artist returns today with a new single and self-directed music video for "BUNDLES," featuring a stacked cast of women from around the world: Brazy, Hook, Princesa 28, Deto Black, Bby $lut, VIZÉ and Bby Canis.
For Mowalola, this release "unlocked a new voice" and "way of expressing" herself, with support from producer Odunsi (the Engine), who’s responsible for the track’s pounding, glitched-out beat.
The wild visual, premiering on PAPER, is an extension of this collaborative energy and global, electronic sound. A mix of 2D and 3D animations are intermixed throughout to depict a future in Mowalola’s mind — one where you’re able to play "any character you want in life," she says.
Watch Mowalola's "BUNDLES," below, and learn more about the making of the song.
What is the relationship between your music practice and fashion label? Do you see a shared sensibility across the board?
Yeah, I feel like everything is connected.
How did you go about pulling together all these featured women onto one track? Are they all friends or close collaborators?
It’s been a two-year journey. Before I started making music, I started finding out about a lot of new female artists like Bktherula, Hook, Babyxsosa that I felt connected to sonically. I sent the track to Hook and she sent it back with her iconic verse, and I just started sending it to more girls I was inspired by. Hook, Princess Deto and I all got to meet in Atlanta in 2020, and it was a lot of fun. But everyone doesn’t know each other. I feel like things will happen organically. I love seeing people collaborate, so the last two years it’s just been building itself.
As a unified force, what perspective do you think this group of women brings to music and culture at large?
Everyone has their own language and really unique flows. They all skated on the beat.
What was the production process like with all these different voices involved? Did it take a while to finish the track?
I curated the artists, and once I had all the verses Odunsi and I figured out how they would all flow into each other. He really was able to create a chaotic experience and harmonic energy between the verses. It took some time, but it taught me a lot — patience and perfect timing.
Odunsi actually got me to record my first song, which is how "BUNDLES" came to be. We started the beat together and then I just said the first thing that came to my head. I don’t think I’ll forget that day in East London in 2020. I was crying while I was singing. It felt like I unlocked a new voice — a new way of expressing myself, which had been dormant.
"Play the game, don’t be an NPC"
How does the animation reflect the lyrics or attitude of the song itself?
I feel like the song is like the Big Bang. It has created its own world. The animation is just as cracked up as the song.
The track and video both pull from people all over the world. Why was this global perspective important to you and how did that impact the final product?
I feel like I just work that way. I’m a baby of the world, I go towards whatever I feel connected to. Borders don’t limit me.
In what way is this release a picture of "the future"? What future are you intending to imagine or help shape?
Something transformative. A no visa future, being able to be any character you want in life. Play the game, don’t be an NPC.
Photo courtesy of Felipe Bolivar
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