New Video: South Africa’s Mikhaela Faye Shares a Slickly Produced, Hook-Driven, Feminist Anthem

Cape Town-born and-based singer/songwriter and producer Mikhaela Faye specializes in music that draws from her degree in jazz, but also informed by the punk rock, indie rock and hip hop that were part of the soundtrack of her teenaged years. Interestingly, Faye has made a name for herself through collaborations on a number of locally produced and released house and hip-hop tracks.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the South African-born and-based artist has developed and honed a reputation for being restless sonic explorer as a collaborator — and as a solo artist that describes her work as “alt pop infused with elements of jazz, R&B and electronica.” And within that framework, Faye claims that there are four distinct cornerstones that inform her creative process: “There’s ‘satirical, tongue-in-cheek, zero fucks given Faye’, and also ‘I graduated with a degree in jazz and like to play complicated chords Faye’. But there’s also ‘I’m trying to be pop but just missing the mark Faye’ and I am sensual, sophisticated and electronically curious Faye.” For Faye, the four-cornered alt pop terrain won’t be the end of the story. “My chameleon brain is birthing new Fayes as we speak,” she says of her current-state of mind.

“I Don’t Want Your Baby,” is a slickly produced pop confection rooted in enormous, shout-along-worthy hooks and seemingly lived-in lyricism while being a defiant and relatable feminist anthem. The song’s narrator expresses a real ambivalence towards motherhood — perhaps with the tacit understanding that at this point in her life, a child would be severely limiting, complicated and exhausting and that she might not be ready or interested in the sort of sacrifices children entail. What’s striking about the song is that it finds Faye being both deadly serious and mischievous.

Directed by Tom Willows, the accompanying video for “I Don’t Want Your Baby” follows Faye as she goes through “traditional” gender roles awkwardly — with Broadway styled, brightly colored dance scenes. The video manages to emphasize the song’s spirit with an uncanny fidelity.