Rigel Gemini (Rigel Cable) is a queer, non-binary musical artist, Instagrammer, YouTuber, blogger, and content creator from Atlanta. In his new music video for “Coffee In My Cup”, music artist Rigel alongside his husband, creative director Cameron Lee and cinematographer Trinity Isle Productions, have created a whimsical, coffee shop fantasy that dials camp and flamboyance up to a new level. Starting with a comedic skit with the one-and-only Ts Madison, who requests an over-the-top, complicated latte order to Gemini whose character is the owner of a coffee shop “Rigel’s Roasters” – after some tongue pops and heavy eye rolls from “The TS”, the video dives into a colorful world of queer artistry, with starring roles from well-known, local Atlanta drag queens Brigitte Bidet, Jaybella Bankz, and Canzara SZN.
We had the opportunity to exclusively preview the video ahead of its public release on Friday 12th February, and chat to Rigel about their inspiration behind the LGBTQIA+ all-star clip. Check out the video below:
What was the inspiration behind this music video?
The song “Coffee In My Cup”, which I made with the producer KINBAER, started with a simple conversation about making a song about something everyone loves, and everyone loves coffee! And it turned into writing something with some innuendo and seductiveness to it.
When we went to make the video, we wanted to dial up this idea of a café and make it into a nightclub – with drag queens and all. We created my character as the owner of “Rigel’s Roasters”, a sassy barista and coffee shop manager who serves looks and lattes. My husband, Cameron Lee, was the creative director for the music video as he is for many of my projects and songs, and he helped transform the nightclub “My Sister’s Room” (MSR) in Atlanta into a drag café. I decided to open the music video with a short comedy skit to add another thread of imagination to the video, and Ts Madison made that so hilarious with a “complicated order”!
You identify as non-binary and gender fluid, what does that mean to you?
I’ve always been non-binary and gender fluid, and diving into music has given me some space to explore other parts of myself that wouldn’t necessarily be expressed day-to-day. Being Rigel Gemini lets me embrace all of who I am!
From a young age, I have felt like I am somewhere on the gender spectrum, not totally on the masculine side and not totally on the feminine side – somewhere in the middle depending on the topic, my mood, and the occasion. I’ve always felt just as comfortable dressing up in a button-down shirt and traditional men’s clothes as I have in a femme-inspired look.
My character in “Coffee In My Cup” gave me some freedom to explore gender-bending fashion, makeup, nails, and dance moves, and I was able to choose where to bring in masculine and feminine elements and mix them all together. Even as a young kid, I played dress up, I had my own barbies, I loved girl group music, and I even liked to have long hair – all traits that made me stand out as gender non-conforming. At the same time, I loved to play in the woods, I liked computers and science, and I loved video games – things that were considered boys’ activities at the time.
Now as an adult, it’s felt validating to bring things back full circle, just like how I have revisited music and dance which had been a thread earlier in my life. Up to this point, I have used the word queer consistently to describe myself, and that had included my gender identity for the most part, but now I am keeping up with the times and embracing the full meaning of the non-binary identity. So I’ve come out publicly as non-binary and gender fluid as part of this music video process, and it’s felt really nice.
I’m proud to be part of the transgender and gender non-conforming (“TGNC”) community – so many of my close friends are trans or non-binary, and it’s the community that I feel connected to. I was bullied really badly as a young kid, and I am so glad that, as an adult, I am able to be who I want to be fully, and I hope that the shifting tide starts to make it easier for young people like young Rigel.
What was the creative process for creating the video?
Since the song is all about coffee, we had to think of lots of ways to bring the idea of coffee to life. Cameron wanted to create memorable vignettes that illustrated how the concept of a caffeine-fueled nightclub might come to life.
The set design and lighting was meant to feel campy and prideful, like a scene in an Almodóvar film. Fashion was also a big part of the creative process. I reached out to showrooms in Los Angeles, Underpin PR and Pop PR to work with designers Jeremy Willard (Punk Rock Tailor) and Ada Zanditon Couture. Combining that with as many gender-bending items as I could find, I created fashion looks that balanced the different energies we were going for – glam, punk, and a touch of S&M. We wanted the fashion to be playful but still have some edge to it. We really flowed off the creative energy of one another on-set. Performing alongside drag queens who perform every night (in normal times) really pushed me to another level, and the positivity of everyone that I worked with made it such a fun process.
Tell us about some of the cast and production team of your video.
The cast and production team of the music video for “Coffee In My Cup” was a beautiful collection of the diversity of the Atlanta LGBTQ+ community. I had some of Atlanta’s most well-known drag queens as my squad of bad b*tches, Brigitte Bidet, Jaybella Bankz, and Canzara SZN, and they turned looks and took the video to an even higher level.
When TS Madison agreed to do the opening comedy skit, I was so excited because she cracks me up so hard in her videos on Instagram, and I just knew that no matter what we did, it would be hilarious. AJ Slayz, who was the handsome man at the coffee bar in the video and also my super-talented makeup artist, brought a whole extra element of magic to the shoot because he is so creative and has so many amazing looks he is known for on social media – coming from the ballroom scene as House of Balenciaga, I was also so glad to have another part of our LGBTQ+ scene represented on the set.
Stephen Pierce who was the hair artist was so professional and did an amazing job on his first music video shoot. And then my cinematographer, Rahjiv Staten, of Trinity Isle Productions did an incredible job with shooting the video, directing us for each shot, and created such a flawless artwork. The photographer, Aki, who was one of the first people I met here in Atlanta caught all the best moments of the video, and I love her because she is one of the other Japanese people I know in Atlanta (I’m part Japanese)!
To top it off, we shot at My Sister’s Room (MSR) which is an LGBTQ+ space that’s open to everyone, so it was the perfect happy place to create the video, and their basement was the perfect nightclub video shoot space! So this video represented so many beautiful parts of our LGBTQ+ community, from skin tones to gender, trans gay poly – all of it. These are the communities I care about.
Photography by Aki @yojpgirlaki
Stay tuned with the adventures of Rigel Gemini on Instagram.