“Can you ever know what they’re thinking, what they’re really thinking?” This is the compelling question at the heart of the latest installment of Gucci’s The Performers film series. Starring the wife-and-husband musicians Florence and Benjamin Clementine, this enchanting short film spotlights the universal mystery that lies within every romantic relationship. The film captures the dreamy Californian aura of Topanga, where the Clementines have been living together with their cherubic 1-year-old son, Julian Jupiter, since late last year.
It’s hard to imagine a more bohemian homestead for the creative couple, whose own singular styles – both sartorial and sonic – have an easy affinity with Alessandro Michele’s freewheeling and inclusive Gucci vision. It’s clear from their impressive collective credentials that creativity is at the center of this dynamic duo’s world.
Benjamin Clementine, 30, won the Mercury Music Prize in 2015 for his debut album, At Least For Now. Two years later he released the politically charged self-produced follow-up, I Tell A Fly. His polemic sophomore album ruminated on everything from refugees to bullying to nationalism, with Clementine declared “a musical George Orwell of our time.”
Born in Edmonton, north London, the youngest of five siblings, in a highly religious household (track suits were considered contraband), Clementine’s is a remarkable rise: from teaching himself to play classical music as a child, to becoming one of the most compelling and unique artists of today.
Florence meanwhile performs under the moniker Flo Morrissey, 24, and is the second eldest of nine children. Emerging in 2015, at the age of 15, with her first single, “Pages of Gold”, Florence quickly made waves, drawing comparisons to great female voices from the past (Laura Nyro, Billie Holliday), whilst simultaneously making for a very contemporary figure on the modern music scene.
Her debut album, Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, recorded in LA, was greeted warmly by critics and audiences alike, winning glowing reviews and seeing Clementine tour internationally.
An acclaimed collaborative album with the Richmond, Virginia-based songwriter, singer, and producer Matthew E. White followed in January 2017, with the duo’s takes on a selection of favorite songs by artists as diverse as Frank Ocean, James Blake, Roy Ayers, and Leonard Cohen.
Florence and Benjamin’s is a spellbinding musical romance. It’s no surprise that from their intimate mountain retreat the pair has increasingly begun to collaborate with one another musically.
Performing as The Clementines, they draw on a classic lineage of duets that spans from Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin to Johnny and June Cash, with a pure and poetic sound. Together, this musical power couple effortlessly summons the imaginative Gucci spirit.
For an insight into their work-and-home lives from off-beat family portraits to coordinating his-and-hers stage outfits, check @theclementinesheart, then watch Act 1 of Season 3 of the Gucci Performers series here.
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