This December our muse is the Niigata-born, London-bred model / singer / online sensation Rina Sawayama. The futuristic pop queen who favours the ‘alien look’ while producing a glittering philosophical, pop and R&B sound to fall in love with.
Reaching fans through her polished music videos released alongside fashion campaigns, people are listening to Rina Sawayama. Now with her platform to be heard, she expresses a consistent determination to address pop music and the fashion-worlds lack of Asian representation and online anxiety. With her tangerine coloured hair, love of metallic and intergalactic tattoos dotting her body, she is one of a kind.
Rina manages to blend colours, textures and eras with a mash up of Japanese, London cool girl style in one look and it works. Her occupation as a model gives her the advantage of a polished editorial quality which extends to her popular Instagram account @rinasonline. Her overall glistening pop sound and look summons an endless cybernetic paradise. Despite her desire to depict the future and modern problems, Rina’s overall look and sound often evokes the previous decade. Listening to her new album, it is hard not to recall early 2000s/ late 90s pop.
Not only is Rina a beauty, she also has the brains having studied politics, psychology, and sociology at Cambridge in The U.K. Rina has also recently released a series of portraits with Taiwanese artist John Yuyi called Asian Beauty. These portraits are a stabbing criticism of Japanese beauty standards with her bare face and body covered with transfer tattoos of text, expressing the desire for pale skin and a larger-than-life anime eye with double lid. The series gives a nod to the expectations people put on Japanese women, from anime and kawaii culture, placing females at a disadvantage, objectifying and infantilizing them - a passion point that not only plays out in her art but elsewhere in her work.
Looking ahead to next year, The Fader have just included Rina in their top 15 artists to watch in 2018. Watch this space, this tangerine, galactic, pop beauty is going to take over our ‘crazy cyber world.’
Find Rina Sawayama on Instagram – rinasonline
Soundcloud - soundcloud.com/rinasawayama