In her new single "Wastin' Time," Nigerian-American musician OWO is here to say: don't bother trying it.
"Won't you find another way to break me down?" she sings amid a flurry of electronic and live production elements, incorporating djembe, kashisi and guitar. The line in the Kashaka-produced song doesn't come from a broken spirit, but rather, a sense of unshakeable resolve. She's going to thrive no matter who threatens to stand in her way.
The "Wastin' Time" video, premiering today on PAPER, represents this thesis well, while showcasing how Black excellence transcends time. Alongside the video's director Ade Alao, OWO creates a series of images meant to represent the beauty, power and vibrance of Black culture. She pays homage to her African roots throughout the clip, from an African ballerina played by Chinna Njoku to a djembe drummer played by Kerian Cox. OWO herself is alternately shown as a queen, a warrior and dancer.
"We wanted to create visuals that show people of color existing and thriving beyond perpetual stereotypes," OWO says of the video's creation. "We cannot and will not be put in a box in any way, shape, or form."
Photography: Ade Alao
OWO in "Wastin' Time"
"Wastin' Time" follows OWO's 2017 debut EP, Drums and Emotions, and kicks off her upcoming 2020 release, which is set to explore love's ins and outs and cultural expectations. Follow OWO on Instagram @owoofficial.