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See ‘Euphoria’ Star Hunter Schafer’s Video for Anohni and the Johnsons’ ‘Why Am I Alive Now’

The ‘Euphoria’ star will also speak with Anohni in a livestream this week

A trio of trans artists, models, and actresses unite in a bare, industrial wasteland in the video for Anohni and the Johnsons’ “Why Am I Alive Now.” Hunter Schafer, one of the most prominent transgender actresses working today after portraying Jules Vaughn on HBO’s Euphoria, directed the clip for the mournful track, which appears on Anohni’s upcoming album, My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross. The album comes out Friday.

In the clip, Fashion — who describes herself as a “transsexual diva, designer, artist, and DJ based in NYC” — sits on a sandy hill in front of a factory, lip-syncing Anohni’s words: “Why am I alive now?/I don’t want to be witness, seeing all of this duress aching of our world.” Anohni’s voice is tremulous and pained, which matches the shadowy flickering guitar supporting her. That tentativeness translates to the looks on the faces of the other women — Davia Spain, a performance artist and musician, and Massima Bell, a model — after Fashion enters the factory and they spot each other, leading to an emotional meeting.


“I started listening to Anohni in high school, so it’s a huge honor to help her build a visual world for [‘Why Am I Alive Now,’]” Schafer said in a statement. “This music video was an honest attempt to answer the question that WAIAN begs, ‘Why Am I Alive Now?’ I wanted to focus on the idea of finding sisterhood in a world that does nothing to help. I hope the direction, choreography, and tone conveys a small piece of that journey.”

Schafer will speak with Anohni as part of an album playback for My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross that will stream live on Anohni’s YouTube channel at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. Nomi Ruiz, aka Jessica 6, will also make a guest appearance. “Some of these songs respond to global and environmental concerns first voiced in popular music over 50 years ago,” Anohni has said of the album. She has previously released videos for the album’s “Sliver of Ice,” inspired by something that Lou Reed told her, and “It Must Change.”

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