Her Freaky Trip to Rotterdam series has already re-cast Eurovision songs “Cheesecake” and “Everyway That I Can”, turning them into social commentary pieces on social justice and sexism. And now Senhit — San Marino’s Eurovision 2021 singer — and creative director Luca Tommassini have worked their magic on Teach-In’s 1975 winner for The Netherlands, “Ding-a-Dong”.
Footage of the original Eurovision performance is grainy and transmits across YouTube in faded colours. But Senhit and Luca dream in High Definition, and they’ve once again created a glossy music video that turns a song of yesterday into a work for tomorrow.
From the opening bars the video encourages viewers to live life fearlessly, with Senhit and a troupe of drag queens marching out in Saturday night finery. Senhit resembles a 1920s flapper girl in a feathered, masquerade-style headpiece and a black-fringed dress. That classic look morphs into a silvery, broad-shouldered piece, which seems to reinterpret Dana International’s iconic feather number from her Eurovision 1998 encore.
Accompanied by drag queens — considered by many to be among the bravest of performers — she transforms into “Wonder Sista” — a heroine ready to slay on her own terms and despite the external stresses that come with living her truth. Her drag sisters put their own spin on Batman, Captain America and Spiderman, and shoot flowers and hearts rather than death rays and lasers. It’s a reminder that we’re stronger when we put our powers together rather than using them against one another.
Explaining her vision, Senhit says: “The video opens with Oscar Wilde’s phrase, ‘Be afraid of nothing’… Sometimes we are frightened by what is perceived as ‘different’, like a drag queen, who is nothing more than a professional artist at 360 degrees. Respect for human beings and fun are the peculiarities of my Freaky trip to Rotterdam. Surprise: when Getty Kaspers heard that we were shooting the third chapter and we had chosen’Ding a dong’, she decided to make a cameo in the video! For me it was a great honor to pay homage to Holland where this song is very well known: it’s cheerful, positive, freaky!”
Creative directorLuca Tommassini drew inspiration from classic television: “It is a tribute to the first women of the 1960s, to black and white television, which still makes us dream today, the television of Mina and all those women who have contributed to creating an aesthetic that is still a point of reference. A style much imitated by drag queens, like the ones we had the honor of having in this video and who, together with Senhit, interpret the super women of history, music and television. There is a tribute to Wonder Woman, Cher, Divine. There are no laws supporting trans and drag queens, so we decided to celebrate them and bring attention to them, because there must be the freedom to be yourself! Every woman is unique in her own way, every human being is unique in their own way and must be able to walk with her head held high. FREEDOM!”
Ultimately, the video is a call for everyone to hold on to their identity — even the parts that others may scoff at. It ends with a quote from Patrick Kenzie — the private investigator in the 2007 film Gone Baby Gone: “I always believed it was the things you don’t choose that makes you who you are.”
Are you loving Senhit’s latest music video? Can you relate to the theme? Shout it out down below!