For #FlasbackFriday, wake up to Roy INC.’s fabulous video for ‘Attention Kills’. Also known as Roy Anthony Brown, Ray’s professional life spans 20years, as a muse, dancer, model, singer + musician.
In the 80’s, he was seduced by London’s club scene which then lead to joining House of Child, Les Child’s voguing dance troupe, followed by walking for fashion-line Bodymap’s last ever catwalk show, telling glass magazine, ‘I was voguing down the runway. Then Pam Hogg, an old friend, asked me to model for her, and that got me thinking.’
In the 90’s, considering himself the ‘Kate Moss of male models at that particular time’, he was the first black model ever shot for L’Uomo Vogue by renowned photographer Tyen, who Roy found out, ‘never took pictures of black men’. Now being the only black model for Roy, was less than rewarding adding, ‘I was doing stuff with Gaultier + had started working for German Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue – both for Tyen – + Vogue International, always being told ‘Oh aren’t you lucky.’ And I thought why? ‘You’re the only black guy in the magazine’. Once I turned around on a shoot + said, ‘Don’t you think it’s disgusting + really embarrassing that I am the first black guy?’ I want there to have been a string of other black models but if I am the first then hopefully after me there’s going to be a lot of other guys. It shouldn’t be just because of their color. It should be because they are good models.’ Unfortunately, this problem still persists today with Bethann Hardison of The Diversity Coalition recently saying, ‘I think that the menswear is just as equally important as the womenswear because for me, when I look at the men’s show that’s when I get more upset. I really do, because there’s so many good black male models; these black kids that I think are really significant.’
When describing the video, director Alan Cross said, “A music video for legendary model, singer + performer Roy Inc + his song Attention Kills. The idea was to set about creating an surreal, dystopian world + synthetic setting for the song to be played out by various glamorous iconic characters, (with the odd car crash thrown in of course)! There was a lot of green screen involved to make this happen! We filmed the whole thing in one room, with a single camera + a whole lot of hairspray. “