Angel-Ho’s latest single titled “Turn Around”, co-written with and featuring sultry musician and witch Snixxjones, is a 70s disco music inspired sonic snack. The beat feels both familiar and oh so good moving through your ears and into the rest of ones body; a dance floor anthem that instantaneously gets your head bopping, hips gyrating and moves your whole body into a hypnotic entanglement with the track’s rhythm. The song is the opening track to Angel’s latest 4 track EP Battle of Love . A review on FADER describes the the song as having “the two divas on some DIY Giorgio Moroder energy” with “the accompany clip directed by Elijah Ndoumbé, show[ing] them dialing up the glam and channeling their fiercest instincts”. The music video for the single premiered on the 3rd of July as Pride month was ending along with the corporate performative alleyship we were forced to endure and sits at over 400 views thus far. The team that went into the making of both the video and the song is itself a powerhouse of queer visionaries and creatives not necessarily tethered to playing, creating and imagining within one discipline including Elijah Ndoumbé as the director and cinematographer, Baz Bailey (assist to director & lighting), Dani Kyengo O’Neill (BŪJIN) as the set assistant and the tracks mixing and mattering was done by Llyod May. It’s indisputable that Angel-Ho is a constellation of artistic creativity that is performed not only through music but also through the theatrics and delights of fashion and what follows is a conversation between her and I.
So after the credits have rolled off screen the music video for “Turn Around” starts off by serving pure unadulterated smokey dance floor lust from its onset. From the moan you let out to the sultry eyes you are serving to the camera. We then see the silhouette of a scarcely discernible figure, and in that moment I feel like a voyeuristic third third wheel to your chise at the club. Can you tell me bit about the process of writing both the song and then working on the music video?
The songwriting was channeled through my showgirl experiences on stage of 2019, also moving towards creating songs I can perform for a life time. The music video was for South Africa’s NAF project titled The Solo Ball created by Tandile Mbatsha. So for my contribution I created a music video for “Turn Around” as I felt that pop and music videos is a high art form.
Was the process towards what the music video manifested as (more so than the song) collaborative play or was there already a vision you had when production started?
I’ve been exploring this idea of infinite black space as both an aesthetic and political statement the Black Trans Lives Matter. So chiaroscuro dramatic lighting and as if we were on a stage was my main goal. I’ve currently moved on from this aesthetic and may return to it in the future, currently everything is romantic for me and about summer colours.
What was the collaborative lyric writing process like between yourself and Snixxjones?
SnixxJones and I were talking about production for them that I would compose, and then I mentioned a track that was going nowhere with another artist. They then proceeded to wanting to hear it so I sent it to them and instantly felt like it was the right thing to do. Our collaboration happened cause I sent Snixx the chorus and verses I was on already and extended their bit for their feature and magic took place. When a witch has a call, a witch answers.
Just recently there was a campaign to help raise funds that would contribute to your independence, along with being able to give you housing security and thus so many other subsequent things that one is able to have access to just by virtue of this safe space or room of your own that is tender and supportive to your ontological, mental, physical and spiritual health. What happened was an amazing and also incredibly affirming display of community rallying together to help in tangible and material ways, I found this especially powerful. So much creativity, radical politics, imagination and culture is extracted by society from the works, lives and experiences of Black and POC Queer and Trans people with usually nothing or very little being done to materially help our communities or redistribute resources and when “alleyship” does come around, it’s usually performative or theoretical. Do you mind telling me about what led to the crowd funding campaign, what that experience was like and how it’s been stepping into this new independent chapter of your life?
It made me realise that you cannot avoid the reality of being trans, as much as we want to make better lives for ourselves. It can become really challenging when you have a whole older generation not agreeing with your lifestyle to what you wear to what and how you eat. Like I felt like a prisoner and now I’m free. My mother is extremely supportive and continues to be. It just gets tricky when the family doesn’t approve of you. In my new life I feel like I’m evolving—my music has even become softer or more pungent like a gagging perfume. It’s everyones cup of tea, which I’m realising. I’m also coming into my alter ego becoming a disco diva. It’s really great exploring my influences such as Sybil who sings “Oh How I love You” and seeing her influence in my new music. This is all very exciting. I can’t wait to share my new life with the world.