The production and promotion process for the latest release, The Life of Pablo from international multi-platinum selling recording artist Kanye West was a rollercoaster. On the eve of the album’s release, West hosted a fashion extravaganza during NYFW known as Yeezy 3 that was shown on music-streaming platform Tidal promoting his new line and previewed the album. Continuing to build anticipation for the album release, Kanye released an alternative cover artwork featuring a cropped photo of an unbeknownst model on a rooftop in a barely visible white swimsuit. Instantly after the second cover posted on Kanye West’s twitter, fans were in eagerly seeking the name of the model in the photograph and at first glance thought it was Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian. While it is not Kim in the photo as everyone originally thought, Kanye’s wife did have involvement in selecting the photo for the album cover as she was the point person to approach her husband with photo. If you remember, Kim Kardashian posed in a similar revealing back shot post-pregnancy of the couple’s first child. Kanye quickly dismissed fan’s belief that the photo was his wife as he tweet clarification, “It ‘s not Kim Kardashian’ behind on the album art of “The Life of Pablo.”
To end speculation, Kanye has revealed that featured model in the cropped photo is indie model Sheniz Halil. Once Halil was identified, fans instantly flocked to Halil’s social media outlet to get to known everything about the London-native.
How Halil made the cover is all thanks to Kim Kardashian. As reported by TMZ, West’s art team put Halil on Kardashian’s radar and she made the final selection among several photos from the model’s IG stash. One glance at the photo and it’s not hard to tell why she did so. And of course, there is the obvious look-a-like theories abound on social media bringing more attention to the matter. With fans congratulating the 27-year-old blonde swimwear model for gracing the cover, Halil herself was actually surprised that she was on the cover as she never received a request to use the photo by Kanye’s art team in the first place. Halil took to twitter to address that she was unaware of involvement on the Kanye West cover. “Nope no permission,” she tweeted at fan who asked if she had gotten a heads up. West had used the photo for his cover without consent, a move that usually works into a negative situation.
The photo was originally posted by Halil on her personal social network a month prior to the release of The Life of Pablo. Halil further commented on the morning of the album release and the tremendous boost of her social following, stating, “I’m not bothered at all,” she said of the free use.
“I was woken up to something crazy exciting and I guess something that may never happen again. It’s a huge thing.”
The photo originally comes from a series of proofs for upcoming Los Angeles publication editorial between Halil and Main Street Productions for Lifestyle For Men Magazine. Halil was the January’s cover model of the month. Shot in Downtown Los Angeles by Ryan Dwyer with make-up by the talented Jazelle.
Kanye adorn the London glamour model so much, he coded his website in her image, literally. Below is the source code from Kanye’s website beside the photo of Sheniz Halil, the model pictured on the second The Life of Pablo cover.
But hey all publicity is good publicity right? While West did not originally request permission of the use of Halil’s photo. Yeezus did; however, properly credit the image details within the album inserts shown here. Both Halil and Dwyer saw the cover art as great publicity and have since taken advantage of the situation by promoting the cover on they’re respected social networks along with bonus content from the same shoot, shown below:
Brief backstory on Halil, the published model has been seen in magazines around the world. She is a Miss Swimsuit USA London’s winner and was also a brand ambassador for Bally Singh‘s Rich List Showstoppers. Halil is currently unaligned with an agency and popularity continues to soar via Instagram. It is unknown when Halil originally pursued her career in modeling, but will provide more information as it becomes available.
The Life of Pablo is available now exclusively on Tidal.
- Kanye West
- Kim Kardashian
- Main Street Productions
- Miss Cyprus LVIMS 2015
- Miss Swimsuit USA
- Ryan Dwyer
- Sheniz Halil
- The Life of Pablo