The color lavender is associated with femeninity, wealth and royalty. It is also the color of a comforter artist Jarina De Marco and costume designer Irene Discos found at a Goodwill store in Los Angeles, and decided to make the centerpiece of the visual style of de Marco's new music video, 'STFU', out now on Mad Decent.
It's a seemingly random color choice that works in beautiful and surreal contrast with this empowerment song that draws on nostalgia to heal wounds and come out stronger. It's a Latinx version of Beyoncé's 'Sorry', if you will, middle fingers up proudly and all.
The Brazilian-Dominican vocalist appears wrapped in the labia-shaped comforter like a powerful deity in the video, which creates a world where the lavender-clad worshipers of 'Church of No Fucks Given' get literally woke and emboldended to "think about what exactly makes you happy and do it", says De Marco, who moved to the West Coast last year after more than a decade in New York City.
"I’ve never been apologetic, I've always been blunt", says the artist, who during her career has worked with the likes of Wyclef Jean. "My mom always taught me to speak my mind. I always advocate for the right thing to do, whether its politics or creatively."
Indeed, 'STFU' comes in the heels of a song de Marco wrote and perfromed last year inspired by the Standing Rock movement, and another feminist anthem, 'Tigre', which was featured in the TV show Broad City. Once again, Jarina is proud to mix Spanish and English in her work. "I can be 100% Anglo or 100% Spanish and I can also be both, and that’s OK," she says. "So many of us are that". She mentions Latinx artists like Kali Uchis, Princess Nokia and Empress Of as some of the artists that are also in that wavelength of, as she says, "we can be anything we want, any genre." I would also include Maluca Mala, who came on the scene almost a decade ago in a post-M.I.A. 'woke' Mad Decent.
In Los Angeles, De Marco has found a thriving creative community in the midst of a "cultural renaissance". Some of her current collaborators are also New York City transplants, and she prizes the complicity between her and creators like director Madelyn Deutch, producer Tiziano Tucci, art director Elise Mesner and co-writer Cara Salimando and Discos. The track was produced by Diplo associates GTA, who are also L.A.-based.
'STFU' is not all hard-hitting energy: there's a mantra taken from "rana, rana colita de rana", the healing chant parents sing to children after a bruise or a fall. It's the Vicks Vaporub to say "it's ok to cry, to feel hurt, and you will heal and emerge stronger from that". As de Marco perfectly puts it: "I'm putting a little balm onto my boldness."