The Detroit visual artist and director presents an evocative new film shot in Mexico City and scored by Egyptian-Iranian musician Lafawndah, reinterpreting the Ace of Base classic.
New York based creatives Analisa Teachworth and Lafawndah have teamed up for a sensual, mysterious short film, All The She Wants, premiering today on i-D. Teachworth is a visual artist originally from the Detroit area, who has co-directed music videos for BenZel and Jessie Ware, but this is not a music video; instead, it is a narrative journey based around Lafawndah's distinctive reworking of the classic 1993 Ace of Base track.
Egyptian-Iranian musician Lafawndah, who grew up in Paris and made waves with her sophomore Tan EP earlier this year, brings her signature percussive, mixed-tempo dance pop, cut and sliced from a global palette, to the 90s classic. Sensual, breathy vocals over slowed-down watery beats, becoming rounded on the hand-clap chorus, soundtrack an evocative film that follows an androgynous, mud-covered girl, played by Masum Rioja, as she visits lovers across a rural and urban landscape.
"I wanted to pay an homage to a childhood feeling: being obsessed by a song, knowing all the lyrics by heart while having a pretty opaque understanding of what the song actually is about," Lafawndah explains. "It goes like this: 'She lives a lonely life, all that she wants another baby'. If she wants another baby, it means she already has one, and if she has one, she's not lonely. When you think a song is about pregnancy, for way too long. I grew up listening to Ace of Base, Spice Girls, Janet and TLC. The lyrical content of that era for me was all about being intentionally fed liberating values of independence and strength".
"All That She Wants is not about romantic love, and even though my understanding of the song was partial, something subconsciously made it's way," Lafawndah notes. "Also it's a nod to non-English speakers' way of writing English lyrics and the charm of how clumsy it sounds, it's almost a new language made of a language everyone knows."
"Mexico City, where the video was made is a sacred place on earth. Visually the light there is surrogate to unleashing stories that just naturally reveal the untold," Analisa Teachworth says. "I was inspired by that mystical presences of the land and crossed it with visual language that you find in telenovelas, and B movies. I wanted to speak to love and rebirth; how every time we venture into knowing someone else we become a more complete person, and it's a positive."
"As the ace of base lyrics go, 'All that she wants is another baby'; many interpretations may fall as to what that means but it's a description of what is not enough," she continues. "By reinterpreting the narrative into another perspective we become almost like the cat on its 6th life or something. I believe most people have the ability to live many lives and realise different perceptions of what it means to love be loved; All That She Wants is a testament to that."
All That She Wants by Lafawndah is available to stream, and as a free download on her Soundcloud account:
Text Charlotte Gush
Film Analisa Teachworth