Chicago-based artist Serena Isioma is ready for their coronation. Earlier this year, Isioma (say: e-seeohma) released Sensitive, an eclectic, genre-smashing EP which caught the attention of critics. For a first body of work, it’s impressive, featuring elements from across the alternative and emo scenes. The new single proves that Sensitive was just the beginning: on “King,” produced by Saint Lewis, Serena Isioma centers joyful Black femme experiences while simultaneously declaring self-acceptance. Watch the video below.
From the first line, Isioma’s fate was sealed. The Nigerian musician explains that this is their “downfall,” but perhaps the instruction to “get sexy” just prior illuminates the situation. While the video is cyclical, as if taking us through Isioma’s daily routine, the song establishes a more singular connection—a sexual conquest, or maybe just a one-on-one game of checkers. Either way, Isioma calls for a crown in the chorus: “More give me more I want the crown/King me!”
Rather than allow their identity to slip away during these connections, Isioma also makes clear that they are their own authority, driving the point home with buzzing guitars and a persistent snare drum. Saint Lewis, who has frequently collaborated with Isioma, helps to cement a domineering sound influenced by artists from Lil Uzi Vert to Gorillaz. In the same breath as the rest of the refrain, Isioma sings, “I’m the king of me.”
by: Zoë Elaine