The 20-year-old singer, who previously starred on MTV's Scream: The TV Series, is poised to become one of R&B's next leading ladies, and "Fairplay" — the first single off her soon-to-be-released freshman EP — an anthem of empowerment. As for the song's new video? It's beautiful, lush, and maybe even a little creepy. Ledè goes full-on voodoo queen in the video, which does not bode well for her cheating beau...especially once the voodoo doll shows up.
But hey, "That's just fair play."
Refinery29 spoke with Ledè about the inspiration for her new track, why she wanted to shoot her video in New Orleans, and which women are killing it right now in the music industry.
What inspired you to write this song?
"I wrote this song when I went through a messy breakup. I got cheated on, and I was in that angry phase that you go through when you have a breakup... It was a blessing in disguise, because that relationship was affecting my growth. I needed that relationship to end so I could grow. A lot of good things were happening to me after that, so I thought, 'Man, that's karma.' I feel like I put my whole heart into that relationship and good things still [came from it], even though he gave up. So what goes around, comes around."
What does the term "fairplay" mean to you?
"It means karma... what goes around comes around, especially for people who fuck with me. Like, if you mess with me, or mess with my heart, something bad will happen to you."
How did you pick the concept of the video?
"There were other options, but at the end of the day... I chose [the directors'] treatment because I love New Orleans, and any way we filmed this video we were going to shoot in New Orleans. I feel like they captured New Orleans as well as it captured me."
I love the way your character is styled in the video. Do you dress this way in real life, or were you trying to embody a specific character?
"It embodies a more extreme version of what I wear every day. I'm a girl from Phoenix who was born in the '90s, so there was a mixture of both those styles. I loved working with the stylist. We went shopping, it was awesome. It was the first time I spent $4,000 on a dress, I loved it."
How did you cast your co-stars?
"I was looking for people who are native to New Orleans and the South. I love New Orleans so much, I wanted to capture it as much as I could. I think people of color should appear in more things, and we need more representation of that. I wanted people of all types to feel welcome."
What is the message in this video?
"I think that, most of the time, in movies and even in real life, the woman [who hooks up] gets the blame... It's almost like the women are pitted against each other. That's portrayed in a lot of stories. I didn't want that in this. In my story, I felt like the woman he cheated with was the victim, too, almost. All the blame was not put on her, it was put on the guy. I don't want women to feel like there's any competition, because there is not. It had to do with my relationship with my man, and nothing to do with the other woman."
What women artists are inspiring you in music?
"SZA, Kehlani, and Rihanna. I love that Rihanna is so true to herself, and so open about her sexuality and so confident. She's a great role model for women of color and young women. SZA and Kehlani have brought R&B back to the forefront of music, and have made it their own. I really, really admire that, because it's my favorite type of music and that everyone can hear it now."
What's a music video that you love right now?
"Little Dicky's 'Pillow Talk' is amazing. The visuals in that are amazing. I love how political he can get while still being fucking hilarious."
Check out the video below: