Chlöe Bailey has mastered the art of creating a viral music video. Though she’s only on her second release as a solo artist, the music prodigy has been making her presence felt in the industry for decades as one-half of the beloved group Chlöe and Halle. Since branching out as a solo artist, Bailey has gotten the internet’s attention with the provocative clip for her hit, “Have Mercy.” After racking up more than 64 million views with her saucy lyrics and energetic dance moves, anticipation was high for Bailey’s second outing, “Treat Me.” An ode to female sensuality and power, it hammers home the themes of Bailey’s forthcoming debut album, and for the corresponding film, she wanted to spotlight her heroes.
Directed by Diana Kunst, “Treat Me”’s visuals nod to artists like Janet Jackson and Grace Jones, who fearlessly asserted their sexuality and ruled their respective eras. Fans may find themselves reminiscing about Jackson’s “Scream” music video when they see Bailey confidently dancing across the screen in high contrast black and white, or they’ll call to mind Jones’ now iconic album covers by Jean-Paul Goude during the sequence where Bailey is submerged in honey. For stylists William Ylvisaker and Lukas van der Fecht, celebrating the legacy of groundbreaking performers was a vital aspect of the video. “Our intention was to honor icons such as Josephine Baker, Grace Jones, and Janet Jackson while creating fresh silhouettes,” says Ylvisaker. “Our overarching goal was to embody the essence of feminine power and self-love.”
Real-world references are only one part of the story, and the video quickly transports Bailey and its audience into sci-fi fantasy. The shots of Bailey in glossy black leather or a nearly transparent crystal fishnet body suit were deliberately daring. “We both come from the underground scene and wanted to bring a futuristic and cyber vibe to this video,” explains van der Fecht who crafted several one-of-a-kind pieces especially for Bailey. “Having the ability to create custom looks gave us the freedom to make our vision come to life. It was a blessing to see these Goddesses step into garments that align with their true power!”
Below, Bailey shares her thoughts on each outfit and how embodying these muses left her feeling like a queen.