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Self Esteem and Moonchild seek to redefine masculinity with their new, single ‘Big Man’

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Premiered as the ‘Hottest Record In The World’ on BBC Radio 1, ‘Big Man’ comes with Self Esteem’s most vibrant and bold music video yet.

Self Esteem and Moonchild Sanelly. Picture: Instagram

RENOWNED British musician Self Esteem, has returned to the music scene with “Big Man”, her first offering since her 2021 album, ”Prioritise Pleasure“.

For the track, which delves into the complexities of modern masculinity and gender roles, the singer and songwriter whose real name is Rebecca Lucy Taylor, collaborated with acclaimed South African artist Moonchild Sanelly (real name Seneziwe Sanelly).

It was released in June, together with a music video which pays homage to acclaimed UK rock band Queen’s “I Want To Break Free”.

In the video, the duo tackle household chores which is traditionally deemed “women’s work.”

In the video, conceptualised by Self Esteem, directed by Piers Dennis and produced by Ayomide Alli, the pair also bond over their experiences with insecure men, leading them to imagine an ideal man who supports strong women.

Moonchild told Independent Media Lifestyle that the concept for the song came when she and the UK musician began to share stories of how many of the men they dated were insecure.

“We reimagined an ideal man for women like us who run the world! We wrote this song from the perspective of that ideal man, who would support us while we’re shining,” she explained.

These sentiments were shared by Self Esteem.

“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.”

Moonchild said that they “just connected from the moment we met.”

“It was really amazing to be part of it, paying homage to Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free.’ It’s our bonding that shaped the lyrics from our stories.”

The South African musician is renowned for her bold persona and unapologetic music and she often sparks debates on cultural norms and gender expectations in South Africa.

Her explicit lyrics and provocative performances have kept both fans and critics talking.

An example of this her 2020 song “Thunda Thighs”, which was praised for its message of empowerment but it also received widespread criticism for its explicit content.

Her other track “Weh Mameh”, also faced backlash for its sexual themes, with many insisting that it was inappropriate.

Moonchild defended it as an expression of women’s sexual autonomy and freedom. She has also been criticised for her unfiltered comments and bold fashion choices, such as her appearance on the reality TV show, “The Hustle,” when she wore a barely-there outfit.

Some applauded her authenticity, while others condemned her style as inappropriate for national television.

It was this fearless expression of sexuality and empowerment that Moonchild brought to “Big Man” as she advocated for supportive relationships.

Sanelly is known for her bold persona and unapologetic music, often sparking debates on cultural norms and gender expectations in South Africa. Picture: Instagram

Through the song, she also aims to reshape narratives around gender roles.

“We hope listeners take away this message: Men, just because you have a ‘boss bae’ does not mean you’re a little man; you’re a BIG MAN, stay supporting her!“ she said.

“And to my boss baes, please do not settle for someone who does not know how to handle your power. You should be supported and celebrated in your success.”

This collaboration is a fierce mixture of their creative artistry, delivering a powerful anthem that screams gender equality.

Rebecca Lucy Taylor and Moonchild Sanelly. Picture: Instagram

“With ‘Self Esteem’, it was definitely one of the easier ones. We had time to connect and share our stories. We’re from opposite sides of the world, but we can relate—that is the beauty!”

“The most important message from ‘Big Man’ is that art changes the world and the narrative,” Moonchild said.

“We want to change the narrative on men supporting women. Being able to voice your ideas is part of the change, and I am doing it through music. To the Big Men out there, it is a partnership—support each other. If she’s bringing home the pig, make the bacon; if she bought the house, wash the dishes.”

In a world where traditional values are deeply ingrained, Monochild’s music and performance challenge the status quo.

Critics argue that her work can be seen as inappropriate and provocative, while supporters praise her for challenging outdated norms and advocating for women’s rights.

Apart from “Big Man,” Moonchild also dropped the single “Scrambled Eggs,” in May. She has teamed up with Steve Aoki on the single “Mad,” which is currently available on all streaming platforms.

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