Benefit Cosmetic’s has just launched its first ever video, starring Saudi rapper Amy Roko.
Called GirlGang!, the video has been written, produced and directed entirely within the GCC, and also stars Saudi Rnb singer Roya, video influencer Shahad and Emirati make-up influencer Sara as the other three protagonists.
To create the video, Benefit called on the talents of director Angy Jammal who has already made a name for herself working with the likes of Haifa, Nancy Ajram, Elissa and Maya Diab, and in 2016 was awarded the Diamond Award for best music video at BAMA in Berlin.
The clip she created was filmed in an all pink set, built as a stylised replica of the historic Jeddah region of Al Balad, to nod to both the deep heritage of the region, and the rapid changes taking place.
“Al Balad is the historical area of Jeddah and is home to five centuries-old buildings. It was essential for us to pay homage to this amazing heritage and to make it part of the creative process,” explains Alireza Danai, Benefit Cosmetics Middle East General Manager.
The scene has traditional houses, a cafe (or gahwa) and even a sweet maker stand, called a logaymat, all in sugary pink, around which the four young women parade, including Roko in a sparkly niqab, climbing into a large, and very pink, car.
For a makeup brand, making a rap video is an unexpected and, it has to be said, audacious move.
“Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest markets for rap music in the Arab world, but rap still remains a male dominated musical genre.” Danai explains.
“This project is about giving the mic to women, and it was important for us to work exclusively with young talents from this region to convey our message, using their voice.”
All about coming together and empowerment, this is an upbeat and very pro-womanhood message, and as a note on celebrating sisterhood, it could hardly be better. As it debuts in the interesting times of Covid-19, the take away moral is perhaps more pertinent than ever. Support each other and we will all be OK.