It feels like a lifetime has passed since we caught up with Canadian rapper Haviah Mighty to chat about her new music video for her song “Bag Up.” In reality, it’s been a little over six months, and when we last spoke, she was in the middle of shooting the aforementioned video – the last visual tied to her critically acclaimed LP, 13th Floor, which won the prestigious Polaris Music Prize one year ago. At the time, it was coming from a celebratory place: one where she could raise a metaphorical glass to all that she’s accomplished and all she still plans to do.
This was, of course, pre-pandemic, but the 28-year-old’s intent remains the same. “Because of COVID, we’ve spent a lot of time not knowing how to move ahead, and we’re still figuring it out,” she tells us when we get her back on the phone earlier this week. “Now, I’m personally feeling like I’m ready to get back to the hustle and bustle. We’re remembering what we want in our careers, in our social lives – that’s all coming into focus again. We have to adjust [because of the pandemic], but there’s a momentum we can strive for and celebrate.”
Directed by Keethan Krish and produced by Toronto-based Rack & Pinion, the video is set in an elevator (a common motif from Mighty’s album), a place in which four hard-working, entrepreneurial women prepare for their daily hustle. There’s a makeup artist, an adult dancer and a musician – a role Mighty takes on herself. The video also marks the first time the rapper has used actors in one of her videos. “We wanted to feature a variety of women so we have a representation of different fields. We also wanted each character-type to feel unique to the actor playing them,” she says. “It added a natural progression to the storyline. It was a 14-hour shoot and we could comfortably sink into our characters throughout.”
And if one thing is certain, it’s that Mighty – who’s gearing up to release new music later this year – is always thinking about progression. “For most of my life, I’ve wondered what my place is as a Black woman in Canada,” she says. “As a creator, I’m always looking to grow while retaining the things about me that are very authentic. I want to continue to make great music and find ways to use my [voice] for change.”
Check out the full video for “Bag Up” below.
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