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PRIMA's 'Diva' Is A Fun, Feminist Anthem: BUST Premiere

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What happens when gaudy excess and punk rock recklessness merge? You get PRIMA's newest video, “Diva.” PRIMA is a Brooklyn post-punk powerhouse headed by charismatic frontwoman Rose Blanshei. The music is lightning-charged, with inventive guitar hooks, dark fuzzy riffs, and foreboding breaks buzzing with overdrive and amp noise, all driven by the sheer energy of Blanshei’s declarative vocals. Blanshei sings, “Get in control like a diva / I’m in control / I’m in control.”

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According to Blanshei, the song itself resembles a schizophrenic breakdown of a woman trying to figure out how to be a human in America, particularly in the age of advanced western capitalism. “Diva" is all about juxtaposition — the moments when light and dark merge, or when we turn the binary on its head and realize that not everything is as black and white as we’ve made it out to be. It is an economic critique of capitalism as well as an anthem of empowerment for women who are out there making their own money and in control of their own lives.

The video is directed by Joe Wakeman, who, upon hearing the song, approached Blanshei with the outlandish premise for a video that would be like, “Marie Antoinette gone wrong with a brothel full of insane women, inspired by J-pop and the Czech film Daisies.” Wakeman and Blanshei enlisted the help of local hero Gwynn Galitzer, musician and founder of zine Suffragette CityGalitzer, a former costume designer, brought over a trunk of funky costumes, gracing the diva set with handmade dresses and dresses by Japanese designers in the “Lolita” tradition, a Harajuku subculture fashion trend that began in the 1990s. The video stars Nikki Belfiglio from the Brooklyn band Bodega, Mark Ballyk, and Anastasia Olowin, and features makeup by Kathryn Shearing and Cindy Bagby.

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All these wild elements come together to bring you “Diva,” a feminist anthem that celebrates the idea of being the sheer source of female energy while also all at once making so much fun of it.

You can stream PRIMA’s newly released single here:

Free Download:  Great Dames!

Get inspired by some of our favorite interviews, featuring Dolly Parton, Solange, Tina Fey, Jessica Williams, Kathleen Hanna, Laverne Cox, the Broad City gals, and more! Plus, keep up with the latest from BUST.

first image supplied by PRIMA

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Rachel Angel is a Brooklyn-based writer, singer, and bandleader. Her band has previously released an EP, Revelations, and is currently preparing their next release. Angel has played venues across the East and West coasts, and works regularly at the acclaimed venue National Sawdust. Her work has been described as "songs that tell a story with genuine heart and just enough edge to keep the listener on their toes. She moves effortlessly between alt-country and rock, mixing tender moments with a quick wit."

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