Friday, April 12, 2024

Watch Elle Winston’s stunning new video “Stand Up Straight”

The Brooklyn-based R&B-soul artist has released a powerful new video.

During the summer of 2020, in the middle of the global pandemic and national uprising for Black lives, Elle Winston set out to create a visual accompaniment to her powerful single “Stand Up Straight,” which she originally released in March 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic.

The video was filmed in Lawrence, Kansas on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Kiikaapoi, Osage, Kaw, and Sioux people. Elle Winston and director Melissa Robles (who is Elle’s wife), sought to make a home video which was a simple, yet profound portrait of what it means to be “American” today.

Featuring the beautiful landscape of the midwest and centering Elle herself, a Black woman who was born in Indiana, the imagery harkens back to home videos of yesteryear and the ways in which we all seek to tell our own stories and preserve our legacies. 

Released on the one year anniversary of the release of the song Stand Up Straight, the video is meant to serve as a salve and reminder that even in times of great upheaval, we are each still entitled to a free full life, and ideally, a beautiful one. 

Initially inspired by the Ferguson Uprising and the fight against state sanctioned violence in Black/Brown communities, Stand Up Straight is a powerful ballad rooted in the American protest song tradition. Featuring instrumentation reminiscent of the politically engaged soul/gospel music of the Motown ’70s era, the song seeks to connect the voices of the past to the current moment of continued activism. Originally released in March 2020, the song’s release date coincided with the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and has since taken on a deeper resonance as the country and the world stood up in the summer of 2020 to collectively affirm that Black Lives Matter. 

Follow Elle: @ellewinston |

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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