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Sam Smith celebrates gay ballroom culture in new music video

Sam Smith celebrates gay ballroom culture in new music video

Sam Smith in the video for new track, Promises

Sam Smith just dropped his new music video and it showcases his passion for gay clubbing and culture.

After several chart-straddling soulful ballads, Smith has returned to his dance roots with his latest cut, Promises. It’s a collaboration with Calvin Harris.

Smith, who is a well known regular at nights such as London’s Horse Meat Disco, has taken the opportunity to reflect his love of clubbing in the music video. The film, directed by longtime collaborator, Emil Nava, shines the spotlight on queer, ballroom culture.

It begins with ballroom devotees explaining what they love about vogueing and participating in ballroom events.

‘It’s just like that let go, of like, not having to be somebody that I don’t want to be at that time,’ says one.

‘It’s fantasy. One hundred percent fantasy,’ explains another.

‘Finding vogue, it allowed me to express myself in a way that I couldn’t express anywhere else,’ says another.

The rest of the video – shot in Los Angeles – features vogue dances spinning, dropping and walking on dancefloors and catwalks. Among those also featured in the visual, besides Smith and Harris, is model Winnie Harlow.

Smith himself said on Twitter that he’d, ‘Never had so much fun shooting a video.’

Ballroom culture

Vogueing sprang up in New York City in the late 1980s. LGBTI people, usually from black or Latino communities, began hosting dance balls, from which sprang the dance known as vogueing – throwing shapes and poses as if the dancers were gracing the cover of Vogue magazine.

The underground, hit documentary, Paris Is Burning captured the heyday of the early vogue balls. Madonna took the dance mainstream with her huge hit, Vogue, in 1990.

Ballroom has seen a resurgence in recent years, and not just in the US. Vogue balls take place around the world, including nights such as London’s Pussy Palace and Let’s Have A Kiki. Vogue dancers have even been co-opted by mainstream marketeers, even popping up in Axe adverts.

Sam Smith and Calvin Harris’ new track, Promises, is out now.

See also

MNEK on inspiring ‘queer kids of color’ and why comparing himself to Sam Smith made him ‘sad’

Olly Alexander denounces ‘casual homophobia’ in music industry