CANNES — The scorching Cannes Lions festival was extra hot thanks to Rina Sawayama.
The Japanese-British pop star, who identifies as pansexual, turned Thursday’s Google Pride bash into a “hell hoedown,” honoring the LGBTQIA+ community she’s proud to be a part of.
“Pretend we’re in Central America. I don’t have much experience with Central America, but pretend,” she said before performing “This Hell,” her anthem that challenges secular views on gays.
‘We are at a low point. Do you know what a hoedown is?” Sawyama, 31, continued. “Why I’m asking you this is because even though this is a safe space right now and we’re doing it right, there are people who want gays to go to hell. to go.”
Sawayama commented that she wrote the “song” because she “thought if we all go to hell that sounds like a farewell party to me, am I right?”
Hordes of fans – many of whom were probably marketing and advertising executives in town for the week-long industry event – had the floor shaking from non-stop jumping and dancing as the UK-based entertainer sang pointed lyrics.
“It turns out I’m going to hell if I keep to myself,” she belted out. “Don’t know what I did, but they seem to be pretty mad about it / God hates us? All right, buckle up, we’ll ride at dawn.”
Sawayama – who rocked the house in a colorful sheer paneling bodysuit – performed several of her hits, including dance number “Lucid”, the Britney Spears-inspired single “XS” and “Free Woman”, her Lady Gaga duet (without mother monster, unfortunately).
Google revelers were treated to free face painting and glittery manicures. In line, they beat the sweltering heat with endless rosé and cocktails decorated with Pride flags.