Leigh-Anne of Little Mix returns with “My Love”. And in the words of Kevin Jz Prodigy, ‘THIS IS WHAT I WANNA SEE!’.

A shot from Leigh-Anne’s music video for “My Love”. Featuring Leigh-Anne sat amongst a group of Black girls.

I was pretty lukewarm on Leigh-Anne’s debut solo single “Don’t Say Love”. But THIS “My Love” shit right here...

This should have been the lead single. This is the arrival and the ‘POW’ moment I think she needed. But at least it’s here now.

What really makes “My Love” pop so much more than “Don’t Say Love” is that there is a sense of hunger with it. The sound of the song. The music video. The way Leigh-Anne looks and moves. She wants this solo shit BAD. And when I think about what is missing from so many new and established acts nowadays over the past decade, it’s this. It’s the clear and visible hunger.

When Beyoncé came out with “Crazy in Love”, you could tell she wanted her solo star to take all the way off. That bitch wanted a smash hit. She wanted a music video that would have people mimicking moments from it. Requesting the shit out of it. Recording it on VHS and running it back. When Justin Timberlake went solo with “Like I Love You”, you could tell he had been waiting for this moment. Not only did Justin want to prove that he could stand on his own sperate from ★NSync, but that he could reach far beyond the fanbase of the group to such a point that he could leave it in the dust. And I’m getting a very similar energy from Leigh-Anne with “My Love”.

The dynamic for Leigh-Anne is slightly different from the likes of Beyoncé and Justin, because Little Mix had no clear lead that we could look at and say ‘They're a star’. Where-as we all knew who from Destiny’s Child and ★NSync were going to be the solo stars, because Beyoncé and Justin were already burning brightly in their groups. But that hunger? That desire to be a solo pop star? I see it in the video for “My Love”. And I am now paying attention to Leigh-Anne in a way I wasn’t before.

I don’t think the song itself creates as much of a foundation for the future of Leigh-Anne’s sound as “Crazy in Love” did for Beyoncé or “Like I Love You” did for Justin though - just given the broad spectrum of sounds I imagine Leigh-Anne would want to tap into for her debut and how super specific “My Love” is in terms of its sound and genre. But it’s easy to say this about Beyoncé and Justin’s debuts in hindsight; as I’m sure neither of them knew at that point that their debut songs would set the tone for everything they would release for the next 20 years. Or maybe they did. I dunno.

A shot from Leigh-Anne’s music video for “My Love”. Featuring Ayra Starr with her arm wrapped around Leigh-Anne as they both look into the camera.
Leigh-Anne featuring Ayra Starr - My Love | Warner Records

Another great aspect of this video, is that much like Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You”, it says a lot about Leigh-Anne, her influences and the vision she has for herself - all things that I got NONE of from “Don’t Say Love”. But one of the most powerful and beautiful things about this video is how unapologetically Black it is. Leigh-Anne has been very open about her experience of not only being a Black girl in the music industry, but being the only Black girl in Little Mix. And then you had Jesy Nelson out here using jerk sauce as skin foundation, cosplaying as a Black girl for her trash debut “Boyz”. So for Leigh-Anne to drop this blickitty-Black song and this blickitty- Black video shot in Lagos, Nigeria (and directed by Meji Alabi, one of the co-directors of Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” no less), it’s a statement. And it looks good on her.

Jesy is probably planning to record her new dancehall single and shoot a video in Kingston, Jamaica as we speak, but she could never.

💿 Leigh-Anne & Little Mix Music reviews: Don’t Say Love | Confetti