Being the first artist or entity at all to be allowed to film a video in the then called Opera de Paris (Palais Garnier) in Paris, France for my video “Still A Thrill” in 1989 is something that was quietly monumental at the time – and probably beyond my devoted fans few know this. When most “urban” artists were primarily relegated to basic in studio videos. I thought about the significance as Beyonce made headlines with her video filmed at the prestigious Louvre museum another landmark in Paris. As one of my fans noted..”if you released this today, you would have broken the internet..it was ahead of the times.” I agree.
Directed by Brian Grant, the 2nd of 3 videos we filmed together – I sashayed all over the streets of Paris (thank you to my former label for supporting my vision) – I worked the historic setting with no choreography or rehearsals. There’s also a scene in one of the night shots on the streets of Paris where graffiti notes “Gay Color, Say Cool Say What?” that makes it’s own statement and my support of the LGBTQ community without batting a cat-eyed eyelash that I’ve never been asked about.
This included the basement so to speak working the gears with Tyrone “The Bone” Procter, former ST alum like me – freestyle, waacking, just making it up as we went along. I styled myself (a bit of Jean Paul Gaultier mixed in) as well as Tyrone (in a Jean Paul Gaultier T-shirt). It was about the edgy style against the opulent setting and getting in the music. Creating art outside the box especially for a black girl at the time dealing with industry politics among other things – quietly opening doors and raising the bar for myself and others to follow has always been important to me – before social media.
You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing-that’s usually how artists make a mark.
Paris By Night was the theme and concept of the video – totally enjoyed collaborating and working with Brian Grant.