Self Esteem, Moonchild Sanelly Play With Gender Roles For ‘Big Man’

Check out their new single...

Self Esteem links with South African hyphenate Moonchild Sanelly on new single ‘Big Man’.

Self Esteem’s second album ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ became a breakout moment, rightly earning a Mercury nomination. Recently going back into the studio, she inaugurates a new era with a bombastic collaboration, toasting the ideal boyfriend.

‘Big Man’ is rooted in that chirruping electronic beat, a permeating pulse that acts as an anchor for the dual vocals. The lyrics tease out the nuances behind modern masculinity, praising men who are OK with sitting in the background, behind their significant other.

At one point, Self Esteem cries out: “I’m a fucking big man / What are you…?”

Self Esteem comments…

Me and Moon wrote a song from the perspective of a good boyfriend. The ones that are just chill and secure so they just leave you to it. The ones that don’t want a medal for doing the bins. The ones that see that you’re working your tits off so they go and get yet another thing you’ve ordered and missed the delivery of from the post office. The ones that don’t take your success as a direct threat to their existence. To me this is real masculinity.

Moonchild Sanelly adds her own distinctive artistry to the song, and it seems the pair connected on an atomic level in the studio. She adds…

We were in the studio bonding HARD, having the deepest conversation about relationships and how it’s hard to be bold, loud female artists in a relationship.  How you can be the baddest bitch on any stage, but if you have an insecure man he can’t support your success as  a woman.  Instead of celebrating and supporting you, he sees your success as a personal attack and uses it to pull you down and make you feel bad.  And we thought… what would it feel like… to be ourselves, doing what we do, and have a man who properly supported all that we are.  So Rebecca and I wrote from the perspective of our ideal partner. The song is from the hypothetical perspective of a man who supports their partner and is happy for their woman.  A man that is fully secure. A big man.

The Piers Dennis video finds Self Esteem in a David Byrne-referencing suit, the two undertaking chores in a manner that recalls Queen’s similarly gender-bending video for ‘I Want To Break Free’.

Self Esteem explains…

We have both collaborated with Johan Karlberg on our records and I’m so grateful to him for introducing us, it was a joy to make this song together. In my head the video always needed to be an inverse ‘I Want To Break Free’ – Piers Dennis executed this gorgeously cos he’s a fucking Big Man. Self Esteem 3 lez go.

Tune in now.

Photo Credit: Yana Van Nuffel

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.