British pop artist Rina Sawayama made her US television debut yesterday by performing her single “XS” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
In the striking, dramatic performance, a bejewelled Sawayama strutted around a darkly lit stage, singing expressively to the camera. Backing dancers executed choreography and scattered cash as she sang scathingly of consumerist excess in the era of climate change.
“Given that we all know global climate change is accelerating and human extinction is a very real possibility within our lifetime it seemed hilarious to me that brands were still coming out with new makeup palettes every month,” Sawayama said of the song’s inspiration in a previous statement.
“Public figures were doing a gigantic house tour of their gated property in Calabasas in the same week as doing a ‘sad about Australian wildfires’ Instagram post… I wanted to reflect the chaos of this post-truth climate change denying world in the metal guitar stabs that flare up like an underlying zit between the 2000s R&B beat that reminds you of a time when everything was alright.”
“XS” is taken from singer’s debut LP Sawayama, which dropped in April this year. The album was recorded between London and Los Angeles and draws inspiration from the complex duality of Sawayama’s cultural identity as a Japanese-born British musician and model. Other singles on Sawayama include “Bad Friend,” “Chosen Family,” “Comme Des Garçons (Like the Boys)” and “STFU!.”
Watch Sawayama’s scorching Fallon performance of “XS” here: