Pop artist Hayley Kiyoko has unveiled a new video for “What I Need,” her duet with Kehlani and a highlight from Kiyoko’s recent album Expectations. Like Kiyoko’s previous self-directed videos for “Curious” and “Sleepover,” “What I Need” pairs cinema glamour and vintage chic with a not-always-rosy story about navigating budding relationships as a young queer person. In the first scene, Kehlani’s character argues with an older family member—an aunt, according to the caption—who questions her sexuality and yells, “Why did you turn out this way?” Escaping the house, she sets off for a flirty date and a roadtrip misadventure with her “best friend,” played by Kiyoko.
Recently, Kiyoko and Kehlani were among several openly queer pop artists to criticize “Girls,” Rita Ora’s wine-and-bisexualty-themed single featuring Charli XCX, Cardi B, and Bebe Rexha. “A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women,” Kiyoko wrote at the time. “I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.”