Jahan Yousaf (aka Krewella), Recording Artist
“I think the video is beautifully directed, it is aesthetically pleasing, and being half-Pakistani, I am proud to see people of South Asian descent in the media being portrayed in such an endearing way. I think we are witnessing the emergence of a cultural revolution that is raising public dialogue not only about the demand for diversity in the media, but the way in which we are telling stories about minorities or non-Westerners and how we are portraying them.
“Hollywood, music videos, art, and fashion often use the thrill of the ‘Third World’ (a term I avoid using as it makes other regions seem primitive and backwards) as entertainment due to the dangerous, savage, and barbaric imagery or behavior. It is very skewed. While one might simply see these representations merely as entertainment and not to be taken seriously, they can unknowingly disguise colonial Western ideology, that the ‘other,’ whether African American or Muslim, is subhuman and therefore human rights do not apply.
“Judgements about one’s character due to their South Asian or Middle Eastern descent, as well as hate crimes due to intolerance of one’s ethnicity still exist in this country. So, while I like to enjoy and encourage consuming music that incorporates aspects of other cultures, I do think it’s important we shed light on their daily lives and struggles as human beings. And, despite my normally critical attitude, I think the video ‘Hymn For The Weekend’ is refreshing in the way that it shows the personality of locals in Mumbai. They aren’t portrayed as one-dimensional sidekicks or merely as background dancers. And while Beyoncé is perfectly airbrushed and doused in more jewels than an impoverished Indian could ever dream of, I see the people of Mumbai as the stars of the video.”