It's OK, Y'all, FKA Twigs and Lil Nas X Had 'Gentle, Honest Conversations' About 'Cellophane' and 'Montero' Similarities

FKA twigs in “Cellophane” music video (2019); Lil Nas X in “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)“ music video (2021).
FKA twigs in “Cellophane” music video (2019); Lil Nas X in “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)“ music video (2021).
Screenshot: FKA twigs/YouTube, Lil Nas X/YouTube

In case you missed it amid conservative concern and sneaker suits, there was another skirmish about Lil Nas X’s new, much-discussed song and music video, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

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Shortly after Lil Nas X released the video, fans began to notice similarities between his video and the video for FKA twigs’ “Cellophane,” (a song and video that I love) that debuted in 2019. In fact, “Cellophane” began to trend on Twitter.

The director of the “Cellophane” music video, Andrew Thomas Huang, also took to social media to express his disappointment, claiming that Lil Nas X’s record label initially reached out to him, but decided to move on without him while hiring the choreographer from FKA twigs’ video.

For comparison purposes, here’s FKA twigs’ video:

FKA twigs - Cellophane / YouTube

...and here’s Lil Nas X’s:

Lil Nas X - Montero (Call Be By Your Name) / YouTube

As for FKA twigs herself? It’s all good in the hood. The singer took to her Instagram page to clear up any speculation that the two were beefing over the similarities.

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“Thank you @lilnasx for our gentle honest conversations and for acknowledging the inspiration ‘Cellophane’ gave you and your creative team in creating your iconic video!” she wrote in the caption. “I think what you have done is amazing and i fully support your expression and bravery in pushing culture forward for the queer community. legend status.”

“I want to thank @andrewthomashuang and @kelyvon for helping me create ‘Cellophane’ but also and most importantly I would like to thank sex workers and strippers for providing the physical language to make both videos possible. I have been working with @swarmhive to help support this community and I know all donations to the SWARM hardship fund will be welcome during this difficult time,” FKA twigs concluded in her post.

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Lil Nas X also addressed the controversy and the call with FKA twigs in an Instagram post which read, “I want to show love to @fkatwigs & @andrewthomashuang! The ‘Cellophane’ visual is a masterpiece. I want to say thank u too twigs for calling me and informing me about the similarities between the two videos, as I was not aware they were so close. [I] was only excited for the video to come out. I understand how hard you worked to bring this visual to life. you deserve so much more love and praise.”

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I’m glad these two talented individuals decided to clear the air and I actually wouldn’t be opposed to them possibly working together in the future. It would be interesting. We’ll see!

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

feministonfire
FeministOnFire

People have styles that they are drawn to, then master, then they bleed through even when making something completely different. Kinda like a chef’s fried chicken tasting a little like her fried fish and southern-fried steak. Maybe when directors and choreographers and visual artists and all the other creatives are in the iteration stages of a project, they should do some sort of review and recognition phase before any prototypes are made. Maybe some focus groups of professionals and rabid fan-types can share their first thoughts.

This and music plagiarism seem like problems that could easily be avoided by some kind of technology software and a little forethought. I’m glad to see these two artists worked it out amongst themselves.