Justine Skye is Otherworldly in “Twisted Fantasy” Video
The singer talks her new music video featuring Rema, working with Timbaland and the inspiration behind her expressive visuals in this exclusive V interview.
The name “Justine Skye” is synonymous with “unexpected.”
Since the 25-year-old Brooklyn-born singer put out her first project in 2019, she’s never failed to surprise, delivering something completely new, innovative, surreal with each release and project, accumulating millions of streams and displaying her raw vocals adept at taking on a multitude of genres.
Following 2020’s Bare With Me, Skye worked closely with Timbaland throughout the pandemic, producing an IGTV series called “Space & Time Sessions,” bringing together millions of viewers from around the world. Their iconic collaboration has unfurled into something more: produced by Timbaland, Skye is dawning upon the release of Space & Time, her latest album set to drop in June, including features from Justin Timberlake and Rema.
The second single off the album, “Twisted Fantasy,” bears witness to the inferno set ablaze at the conjunction where Skye’s smooth, melodic vocals intertwine with Rema’s languid, easy sound, accompanied by vivid visuals in an otherwordly atmosphere. Below, Justine Skye tells V all about the “Twisted Fantasy” video, working with Rema and Timbaland and what we can expect from her to come.
V MAGAZINE: What have you been up to lately?
JUSTINE SKYE: I’m in Miami working right now, I’ve just been working working working! The album comes out June 25th, so a lot, a lot getting done.
V: It must be really hectic right now. What are you most looking forward to post-release of the album?
JS: Just people finally being able to hear this music that I’ve been getting to live with for like almost a year now. It’s just really exciting because I feel like this is my most authentic work that I’m going to put out. It’s a long time coming with this.
V: Tell me a little bit about the music video for “Twisted Fantasy.” What was the inspiration behind the whole thing?
JS: My creative team, Emily Pires and Elena Hristu, created this concept and they brought it to me. We are always trying to step outside of the box and do something that would contrast the song or just something that people wouldn’t expect. That’s exactly what we did in this video. We just really wanted to take people to a different world and they were stepping into otherworldly things, so we created that space.
V: The music video merges so many different visuals together, from the natural landscape that’s in the beginning and the end to the kind of dark, bar area throughout the middle. What do all of these different places symbolize to you? Why these places?
JS: When we heard the song, like immediately, we all saw greenery. It just feels like, I don’t know— I keep using the word “otherworldly,” but it just felt like there was a lot of greenery going on around it. And the bar was created by this amazing set designer, Pili Weeber, who came on board and really created this. She had the idea—we always knew we wanted it to be a bar, and we were going back and forth about how we actually wanted it to look. And then Pili came on board and we created this greenery bar situation and it was super sick. They had like jars of aliens on it, which you don’t really get to see in the video, but it was there. And it was super cool.
V: It was definitely super neat to see and everything from the hair design to the fashion styling in the video, which was so immaculately put together and aesthetically, visually appealing. I feel like it created such a powerful and like vivid icon of Justine Skye. What kind of vision did you have for the role that you stepped into for the video?
JS: While doing this, we were like, all right, we want to be the new norm. Obviously you have to have some types of like reference and like inspiration to things, but when it came to all of the looks and even like the styling of it as well, we wanted to push the boundaries and do something that was not expected of me. And so when tapping into this character, it was a sense of this weird, alien-esque, robotic vibe and all of the girls that were connected to me at the bar were extensions of me. So after we did the choreo piece and we broke apart into the choreo, you can see the ship breaking down. It’s kind of like we detach from each other.
V: That’s so interesting. You keep saying that this is something unexpected, and I completely agree. This music video, I haven’t seen anything else like it—
JS: That’s exactly what we want to hear!
V: —yeah, I really haven’t. Would you say that the visuals for this are kind of an embodiment of what we can expect for the rest of the album? Or is this kind of standing apart on its own?
JS: For sure. I mean, like since “Intruded” came out and that was their first visual baby from this album, we’re just always trying to make sure that we level up as much as we can. We have such amazing, crazy, huge ideas. sometimes it feels there’s not enough time in the world to execute them, but it’s just so amazing and interesting and inspiring how we achieve exactly what we want with visuals. And I can’t wait for the next one.
V: We can’t either. What was it like working with Rema and Timbaland on this song? How did you merge your sounds together?
JS: Well, working with Timbaland was an absolute dream because I’ve always, always wanted to work with him. So, when this opportunity came up, it was like, I didn’t even know what to do. We just started with an IGTV series called “Space and Time Session” that happened during the pandemic. It started off just being one minute snippets online of just original songs that he would send to me, and then after the tenth one, I was like, we got to turn this into an album. So we completed a project and then creating these visuals and executing and bringing it together. My favorite part about him is how visual his music is, but then also the visuals that he puts out are just so next level. Anyone that’s involved with him, whether it was Missy or Aaliyah or Justin Timberlake or Nelly Furtado, you know, that whole crew of artists that he worked with so closely. And now, for me to be in that category is just—it’s an amazing feeling.
Rema, he’s always been a favorite of mine. I’m a huge fan of his music as well. So when we did the song, I sent it over to him just to see what he thought and he loved it. And so to have him on that just sealed it all together.
V: Yeah, absolutely. And Rema’s role in the music video also felt kind of alien and otherworldly. What kind of vision did you have for him?
JS: Well, first of all, we all were so shocked that we even got to get him here all the way from Nigeria. So that was a huge event for us. And the fact that he was so open to the ideas that we had, and he was just a pleasure to be on set with and so easy and smooth to work with. But he’s a star in his own right. So he took on his character that he embodied on that song as well, too. And the chemistry was just really great.
V: It sounds like it all came together really organically and nicely. You have quite a few collabs up your sleeve already, from Rema to Justin Timberlake. Are there any other artists on your radar right now that you want to collab with in the future?
JS: Man, I would love to work with Nicki Minaj. That’s literally my New York dream—not New York, to minimize it like that. That’s just a dream of mine, ultimate. And especially being from New York, that would be such a huge achievement.
V: That would be absolutely fire. That would be a huge collab.
JS: Yeah. And I got a song on this album that she would be amazing on. So hopefully sometime in the near future, whether it’s for this project or another in the bag, it’s something that I definitely want.
V: Fingers crossed! Finally, I know you’ve got the album coming out next month, but what else can we expect from you in 2021?
JS: Oh man. Just to hit the road and perform these songs live. I’ve missed that feeling more than anything. Honestly, being able to connect with the fans and sing the songs off that and that actually receive that energy. It’s just, there’s nothing that I could compare to it. And also just more music, more visuals—we’re just getting started, honestly.
V: Definitely. Is there anything else you want fans to know or take away when they see this music video?
JS: When they see this video and they hear this album, just think Bad Bitch Manual, because that’s everything that we’re giving back to the energy this whole—I’m not even going to limit it to the summer. That’s the energy, period.