TV adverts are something we’re all accustomed to by now, very few seem to stand out though and at this time of year the majority of them are centered around that heartwarming festive feeling. However on Sunday night an eerie silence interrupted channel 4 and then the sound of stiletto heels seemed to fill the room. I got the sense that this was something new, this was important.
On the screen appeared an everyday human leg that most of us are born with and then a huge spike, as if someone had taken the heel from a stiletto, multiplied it by ten and used it as a leg. The proud lady wearing this giant stiletto leg is called Viktoria Modesta and she’s about to blow up. Miss Modesta has joined forces with Channel 4 for their Born Risky campaign to celebrate differences of all kinds.
Viktoria Modesta is a new contemporary artist and upon first glance she gives off that Lady Gaga creative vibe and her sound is edgy with similarities from the likes of Robyn and elements of Die Antwoord; she is pushing the boundaries in every sense and why I hear you ask? What makes her so new and exciting? The answer is this, Viktoria Modesta is an amputee.
Prepare for your views to shift as Viktoria challenges everything we have ever thought about the music industry and amputees. In a world where prosthetic limbs are made to look normal and not stand out, Viktoria along with bespoke prosthetic designer Sophie de Oliviera Barata have created what can only be described as works of art with Viktoria’s prosthetic limbs.
The debut single from Viktoria Modesta is called Prototype and besides it’s very catchy chorus, it carries with it a message. Viktoria sings ‘Coz I’m not restricted by your method I ain’t another project, just messing with your logic.’ Which is exactly what she is doing. Throwing ideals and pre-conceptions out the window and drawing us into a whole new world where normal is no longer a thing; where equality and individuality are commonplace and there are no limitations on what you can achieve.
The music video to prototype is filled with high fashion looks, it see’s Viktoria start a revolution where she rallies followers of all ages from all places and is seen by the government as a threat. In between all of this happening there are scenes of her dancing in some daring outfits and also naked in bed. Embracing her sexuality and showing everyone that amputees are still very much sexy and despite common assumption… amputees can be bold and bright and comfortable in their own skin.
On her website Viktoria explains, “For a long time, pop culture closed its doors on me as an amputee and alternative artist. I think people have always found it hard to know what to think or feel about an amputee who wasn’t trying to be an Olympian. In sports, ‘overcoming’ a disability makes you a hero, but in pop there is no place for these feelings. I have never felt comfortable thinking of myself as disabled and this has inspired me to actively challenge old-fashioned views and create a platform in mainstream pop-culture, with other artists, where I have always known I belonged.
I want people to feel new feelings that they didn’t know they had. The time for boring ethical discussions around disability is over. It’s only through feelings of admiration, aspiration, curiosity and envy that we can move forward. Through this project with Channel 4’s ‘ Born Risky’, I’m hoping to set new principles in music and fashion, to rip up the rule book and develop a more empowering example of what it means to be a musician, model and artist.”
Viktoria Modesta is a breath of fresh air in the industry, she is like no one we have ever seen before in music, coming with vital life lessons and showing us that being different is empowering. Not only is she an example to amputees everywhere but also women. Seeing this lady for the first time and hearing what she has to say had a profound effect on me and I hope with many others too. If this is where music is heading I for one am proud and immensely excited.