Here’s the debut video from Bibi Bourelly, the 21-year-old singer and songwriter who'll drop her first album in 2016. She has a big voice with a knowing croak and, these days, lives between Los Angeles, Berlin, and Washington, DC. “Ego” is a clapback at some composite hater but more a statement of purpose: Bourelly wishes someone would try her, so she can show them how transparently strong she really is. I believe her, and it’s nice to hear this message delivered with finesse on a not-rap song.
“Ego” sounds brilliantly raw, and Bourelly hoped its video would be equally rough-hewn. “My goal every time I write a song is to sound honest,” she explained over the phone from the airport in L.A. “I didn't want the video to be perfect. I wanted it to look like the truth.”
She produced the black-and-white clip herself, and it was directed by her stepmother, Branwen Okpako, a longtime filmmaker born in Lagos who later moved to Berlin. That’s where Bourelly grew up and where “Ego” was filmed. “Everyone in the video I know personally—my stepbrothers are in the video, my two best friends in my life are in it,” she said. The video follows Bourelly from the street of her family apartment to a hill at dawn; in between, she runs and trips through a street in the city’s Red Light District, near where a childhood friend grew up. “When we were shooting in the Red Light District, people on the street started getting mad. But I wanted to evoke that energy,” she explained. “I needed to feel people angry at me so that I could really deliver my point. I didn't want it to be like acting.”