In November of last year, an iconic moment in music video history was born. At the beginning of the video for N.E.R.D.'s Rihanna-featured track "Lemon," the superstar takes a moment to shave the head of dancer Mette Towley right before Towley fiercely tears through some JaQuel Knight choreography. The moment — one of extreme power, intimacy and jealousy on the part of everyone watching — was one immediately for the books; I now want my head shaved by Rihanna!
In a new interview with Highsnobiety, Towley revealed that she briefly reunited with the singer-turned-make-up-mogul earlier this year at the Met Gala, and that she generously commented on her hair. "She came up to me and she’s like, 'Man, I love that hair,'" Towley said. "I was wondering if she recognized me, but she did. She was really sweet."
She adds, "Honestly, I saw her at the Met Ball and almost wanted to ask, “Hey, can you just give me a little more of that incredible energy?” [The haircut] definitely felt like an energy transfer. This is someone reshaping my physical image, you know what I mean?"
Since the career-changing moment, Towley has made appearances in a slew of other projects, including her most-recent appearance in Duckwrth's video for "Boy." In it, Towley takes on multiple male-intruders in a physically demanding, choreographed fight scene, which she says destroys the "damsel in distress" narrative. "My best friend John Mark directed and choreographed the video, that’s a trope that we wanted to spin on its head for years," Towley says. "It was really important to us because, in 2018, we are living in a world that needs more narratives like that...When was the last time you saw a woman save a man — like really kick ass — in a music video?"
Towley ends her interview by stating that all she's ultimately interested in is "smashing archetypes." No doubt her performances in "Lemon" and now "Boy" are helping her along in that journey. Read Towley's full interview with Highsnobiety here.