Merlot: Bad for You – NOWNESS

Mexican-born filmmaking duo Santiago & Mauricio present this new video for New York’s nouveau soul singer, Merlot. Together, they offer up a moving meeting of song and performance which celebrates queerness and human emotion. Drawing on visual references from what the directors call ‘classic queer iconography’—centred especially around New York’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ communities in the 1970s and 80s, the video is as much a history lesson as a glimpse into the future of queerness. Talking about their collaboration with Merlot on the musician’s latest track, the filmmakers explain: “In our minds, Merlot is a modern Grace Jones, merging the masculine and feminine while being simply themselves. Because they are based in New York, we thought creating a ‘classic’ New York vibe would be a perfect fit, with the aim of making this timeliness. This is why we didn’t want to use models—everyone in the film is playing themselves.”

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