Earlier this week, Cody Simpson released his new music video for Captain’s Dance with the Devil, directed, styled and filmed by Miley Cyrus.
Cody wrote an open letter to Vogue Magazine for them debuting his music video – read below!
We are proud to present to you the exclusive debut of ‘Captain’s Dance with the Devil’, a music visual for the song released in conjunction with my first collection of poetry ‘Price Neptune’, directed (and everything else: hair, make-up, styling, lighting, filmed) by Miley.
It’s been a liberating experience conceptualising and creating a new identity. To assume the role of ‘Prince Neptune’ is to accept a level of freedom in which I am free to characterise myself however I feel; to make bold and brazen artistic choices without ever losing who I am.
Miley and I have been friends for the better part of 8 years now. We grew up under similar circumstances in being thrust into the blinding lights of Los Angeles and its fierce entertainment industry from a tender age. Due to the similarities in upbringings, our backgrounds and our lifestyles, we have grown up to become like-minded people. Two sides of the same coin if you will. We’ve navigated a lengthy path towards creative freedom throughout which having relinquished and then regained control of our identities from childhood into adulthood. Possessing steadfast belief in our own ideas free from overwhelming objective opinion, we are both accumulations of all the people we’ve ever been, all the phases of life we’ve experienced, and all of the creative endeavours we’ve pursued. The freedom and fearlessness we’ve taught ourselves along the way has brought us together on a new level of resonation with each other in our lives and our work. Miley has inspired me greatly in her pursuit of a unique path, and her unwavering and imperturbable confidence in herself.
I entrusted Miley with full creative liberty in the conceptualisation and direction of this visual. Allowing her to execute her vision and interpretation of the song itself. The idea was birthed in our bathroom with Miley organising her collection of lipstick. I picked up a stick having never looked at one so discernibly before, taken aback by the art of the packaging, the beauty of the ‘NARS’ symbol embedded in the side, and remarking at how disappointed I’d be to see it ruined once used. This led to my curiosity in the art of makeup, and being educated by Miley on the process of ‘beating your own mug’ and in particular, the art of drag. This led to me asking her to make me up and us collectively realising how interesting it’d be to shoot an entire visual with this experience as the inspiration. It was then that the character of ‘Rebecca’ was born.
During this time in lockdown and self-isolation, we were forced to stay inside our own space having no choice but to encourage ourselves to look subjectively into our immediate environment for things to work and play with. This inspired a new appreciation for who we are and what we are. ‘Captain’s Dance with the Devil’ is a collaboration, incorporating each of our different areas of knowledge and expertise. Miley’s knowledge of make-up, art, and drag culture combined with my knowledge of maritime and nautical culture. This concerned everything down to the wardrobe: the leather pants I bought myself 4 years ago thanks to inspiration I gleaned from seeing Elvis in his leather jumpsuit and Jim Morrison parading the Hollywood Bowl stage in his own pair, to the Chanel blouse I wore under my captain’s jacket endowed with Miley’s vintage Chanel pins and broaches and the blouse Miley received herself from Karl Lagerfeld in Paris after being photographed by him. The vintage Louis Vuitton trunk we bought online under the impression it had a “C” painted on the side, until discovering humorously upon its arrival it was a worn down “G”. The 1930’s doctors bag Miley gifted me for my birthday with my Prince Neptune logo hand-painted on the side, and our combined book collections and personal belongings used as props.
Miley is a creative powerhouse, not just as a musician in her own right, but as a proven writer and director. Her extreme perfectionism saw this video shot over 3 days from 10 in the morning to 4 in the morning, throughout which I discovered new parts of myself and we discovered a new part of our relationship, not exclusively by means of sexual identity but by means of collaboration together – in art and in life. Our lives are a collaboration and this shines through in ‘Captain’s Dance with the Devil’.
-Cody Simpson a.k.a Prince Neptune
Source: Cody Simpson on Instagram