Yuna puts a fresh, modern spin on the classic Batman comics for her music video “Pink Youth.”
“In the future… the powers-that-be discovered a way to capture all the color and hope from the world… or so they thought.” Yuna and Little Simz’s “Pink Youth” video begins with this message. Then the scene fades from the all black screen with typed white letters and opens on a bleak landscape of a city architectured in black and white animation. But all I can picture is Gotham. From the air of mystery and a silent, black-clad avenger to the sense of impending doom and adventure, Batman references riddle the five minute clip. Though everything is black and white, the animation is still so vivid, conjuring early memories of flipping through DC’s original comics. In this script, Yuna is the masked hero with a mission. The artist, who is often credited for putting Malaysian music on the map, sings with an unabashed self love. “Pink Youth” appears on her upcoming album “Rouge” to be released in the coming months.
The video begins with her stealing an glowing cube from a heavily armed and guarded office. What follows is the pursuit. In her own version of the Batmobile, she attempts to escape her pursuers and deliver this mysterious, glowing cube to an unseen home base. While the focus is placed primarily on this heroic storyline, the video takes advantage of the black and white background to emphasize other hidden visual elements. For example, the display is saturated with political messages that appear on Times-Square-sized skyscraper display screens. Captions for various images shine above Yuna’s head, including “Big Brother is watching,” “Trust Authority,” and “Obedience is freedom.”
The style of the video is reminiscent of Yuna’s overall unique genre: light-hearted and whimsical but laced with a deeper, often political, message, highlighting the importance of genuine free thought and diversity in representation. The music combines funk and pop, creating a fresh, modern sound. And the anarchist message explicit in the video is apparent in the lyrics too. “They don’t know what it means to be a girl/to live in a dangerous world,” she sings as she hands off the precious glowing orb to another ally while the enemy forces begin to close in on their camp. For a moment we think all hope is lost, as lasers and guns are pointed at our fearsome heroine until the animated Yuna begins to put up her middle finger and an explosion occurs — a play on dropping a literal F-bomb. Then, the ally with the glowing orb activates the machine, and the sky is illuminated in crisp color. And Yuna’s echoed chorus begins to ring true. “They ain’t ready for this pink youth/ We come up to fight:” an anthem, a call to action, a hopeful testament to being young and being truly free.
“Pink Youth” is featured on Yuna’s new album, Rouge, available on streaming services now.