A couple of months ago I met with emerging Australian poet, singer-songwriter, DJ, model RHYME during her visit back home to Brisbane at an ice-skating rink where she was polishing up her skills in the lead up to the IAFB Grand Prix (#IAFBGrandPrix). I captured these portraits but don’t remember having ever clicked the button, I was completely hypnotized by this goddess floating around on the ice. We had 10 minutes to shoot & I was fucking freezing, maybe these were also contributing factors. I think I also fell in a love a little.
RHYME moved to Japan in 2017 soon after she met Music Producer Shinichi Osawa. The pair quickly formed a close collaboration & began writing together as RHYME SO. Today they share their highly addictive new single “Fashion Blogger” & the epic, avant-garde music video which features the fabulous drag queen star MILK (RuPaul’s Drag Race).
“Fashion Blogger” is influenced by our society’s obsession with being online & the importance of disconnecting to genuinely reconnect with each other. The distinctive, upbeat production alongside the catchy spoken word lyrics illustrate a satirical twist on our social media persona and interactions, which offers a different outlook to the highly relatable topic that we experience in this current digital world.
RHYME SO explains: “Our main point in ‘Fashion Blogger’ is to share a widely talked about commentary but make it… you know… fun. It’s a way to urge people to take themselves less seriously and get off the excess, unnecessary social media that may harm mental health. RHYME SO sounds like ‘I’m So’, so in the age of ‘I’ we want to play with the theme. We also want to shine a light on consumerism’s one buy – one use clothing and spread awareness of sustainable fashion.”
The stunning official video is filmed on ice as we watch RHYME compete with Milk during a fictional ice-skating competition ‘IAFB Grand Prix 2020’ (aka ‘I Am a Fashion Blogger Grand Prix’). Both RHYME & Milk used to be professional figure skaters before pursuing other endeavours. The visual pays homage to the sport they highly adore and respect while also creating a vibrant, inclusive stage for the LGBTQ+ community – not to mention striking fashion moments.
“While competitors are numerous, no rivalry is as ferocious as RHYME and MILK’s Growing up as a child prodigy, RHYME dreamt of becoming ‘the’ professional skater. Her venture into the music industry never compromised her ambition to skaterdom, or so she claims… Before taking his long hiatus MILK triumphed in Couples Ice Dancing with the required black skates. After securing his position as a top tier global drag queen, she is back on ice, but this time, in white skates. ‘Fashion Blogger’ is the official theme song for ‘IAFB Grand Prix 2020’ and was produced by RHYME’s coach Shinichi Osawa, with lyrics and vocals by RHYME herself.”
Milk adds: “What a magical moment to fly to Japan, costume and brilliant white skates packed, to compete in the IAFB Grand Prix 2020. Yes, I had butterflies in my stomach but they helped me jump and twirl high into the air, realizing a lifelong dream, a dream of self-acceptance, creativity, glamour, and athleticism. The IAFB Grand Prix 2020 is one for the record books – and what a fierce and talented competitor is RHYME SO! Grace, beauty, and freedom.”