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Is Zayn Malik Using an Old Chinatown Trope to Grow His Bad Boy Image?

Earlier today, Zayn Malik released his new music video for Dusk Till Dawn, which features Sia on the vocals, Jemima Kirke as his partner in crime, and scenes of a chaotic Chinatown to indicate that trouble is on the way.

During its first scenes, Malik, carrying a black suitcase, steps out in a Miami Vice–worthy pin-striped suit, with his shirt unbuttoned to show his tattooed chest. A mysterious woman in a black wig and thigh-high boots, played by Kirke, is carrying another suitcase. They walk into a phantasmagoria of Chinatown, with performers swinging swords, people walking around in qipaos, and market stalls displaying grilled duck. The exoticized surroundings of Chinatown are used as a trope: It’s telling us that we’re in a messy place now, and something bad is about to happen.

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