Exploring gender roles in a new drop

Self Esteem & Moonchild Sanelly - Picture: Yana Van Nuffel

Self Esteem & Moonchild Sanelly - Picture: Yana Van Nuffel

Published Jun 25, 2024


Musician and songwriter, Self Esteem, has collaborated with South African trailblazer Moonchild Sanelly on Big Man, a new single exploring modern masculinity and gender roles.

This is the first new piece of music since the release of Self Esteem’s wildly acclaimed BRIT and Mercury Prize-nominated 2021 album Prioritise Pleasure.

The Big Man music video by her, which was produced by Ayomide Alli and Precious Mahaga and directed by Piers Dennis, debuted on BBC Radio 1 as the Hottest Record in the World.

The duo honour Queen’s famous I Want to Break Free images, while demonstrating their approach to home tasks typically associated with “women’s work”.

Self Esteem shared her excitement about the song, highlighting that they wrote the song from the perspective of an ideal boyfriend. “Me and Moon wrote a song from the perspective of a good boyfriend.

The ones that are just chill and secure so they just leave you to it. The ones that don’t want a medal for doing the bins. The ones that see that you’re working your tits off so they go and get yet another thing you’ve ordered and missed the delivery of from the post office. The ones that don’t take your success as a direct threat to their existence. To me this is real masculinity.

“We have both collaborated with Johan Karlberg on our records, and I'm so grateful to him for introducing us. It was a joy to make this song together. In my head, the video always needed to be an inverse. ‘I Want to Break Free’ - Piers Dennis executed this gorgeously because he’s a fucking big man. Self-Esteem 3: Let’s go.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Moonchild Sanelly said: “We were in the studio bonding hard, having the deepest conversation about relationships and how it’s hard to be bold, loud female artists in a relationship. You can be the baddest bit** on any stage, but if you have an insecure man, he can't support your success as a woman. Instead of celebrating and supporting you, he sees your success as a personal attack and uses it to pull you down and make you feel bad.

“And we thought what would it feel like... to be ourselves, doing what we do, and have a man who properly supported all that we are? So Rebecca and I wrote from the perspective of our ideal partner. The song is from the hypothetical perspective of a man who supports their partner and is happy for their woman. A man who is fully secure. A big man.”

The Star

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