Channel 4 is introducing the nation to an alternative pop star – Viktoria Modesta – during the ad break of the X Factor final on ITV this Sunday (14 December).
Part of the broadcaster’s ‘Born Risky’ campaign, the promo for her track ‘Prototype’ seeks to challenge the idealised form of pop music. In proudly displaying her prosthetic limb Modesta hopes to make audiences rethink the meaning of the word disabled.
“Channel 4 was born to be different: to offer alternative perspectives and to take creative risks, especially with new talent. In a world of homogenized pop, Viktoria is those values in a nutshell. We are honoured to help her develop her career and change attitudes to disability in the process,” explained Dan Brooke, chief marketing and communications officer, Channel 4.
In the same way Channel 4’s ‘Superhumans’ during the London 2012 Paralympic Games altered the perceptions of disability in athletics, Modesta’s ‘Prototype’ shines a light on stigma, questions normal ideas of sex and beauty, and celebrates being different.
Chris Bovill and John Allison, heads of 4Creative, commented: “Like Viktoria Modesta herself this project is inspiring, unique and very hot. Pop stars these days are painfully dull and manufactured. She is the perfect partner for Born Risky and Channel 4 as she embodies our governmental remit of championing alternative voices and establishing new talent. We wanted to build on the legacy of the Paralympics work so we asked ourselves “Why are there no disabled pop artists?” Then Viktoria marched into our lives. She’s the real deal. She just needed someone to take a risk on her.”
At the age of 20 Modesta made the decision to undergo a below-the-knee amputation to improve her mobility following difficulties at birth which left her with a damaged left leg.
“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,” said Modesta.
“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.”
In addition to the promo and music video a special ‘Making of’ film sees Modesta talk about her childhood, background and inspiration behind the collaboration.