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Music News - Multi-disciplinary artist VIDA Releases New Music Video

Multi-disciplinary artist VIDA Releases New Music Video

09 February 2024 - 0 Comments

Multi-disciplinary artist Vida, previously known for her acting and experimental performance work on screen and stage, is now making her music debut with the release of the music video for her single: The Story of Takavi under the moniker VIDA. With her practice rooted in an ecology of performance Vida’s work sees the role of the performer as a celebrant of collective joy, and uses visionary science fiction to offer somatic rituals of queer-love-in-action and radical kinship.

The song, from her forthcoming EP Aquatopialien combines bassy vocals, ethereal harmonies and rhythmic breath - drawing inspiration from innovators of jazz and experimental art-pop such as Björk, Flying Lotus and Sun Ra. The single introduces VIDA’s alter ego Takavi, an alien who has arrived on Earth to transmute energy through the frequency of sound.

“The title of the song comes from an alien I dreamt of being in lockdown 1.0. The character emerged in a short story I wrote in which I transmuted earth's place in space through sound and had an interplanetary affair with the pluto version of Andre 3000; the character developed into a kind of alter ego that was the version of me that is fully embodied in the interconnection of love. You do what you can to get yourself through aye. The name Takavi - comes from half of my name, vi ( for Vida) and half is taka which is a word my mum used to use to choreograph while she was counting for the dancers. She would clap and yell “TAka ti, TAka ti, tuM TUMMMM!” and I would watch her as a lil kid as her artistic visions transformed into bodies and beings moving in space together and obviously it left an imprint. It’s also a nod to Fly Lo’s song Takashi which I heard and was like right, I’m ready to make music now. Music heals and transforms and that’s where it’s at.” - Vida

“I think many queer people experience homesickness for places of acceptance, belonging and freedom”, says Vida. “The Story of Takavi captures that quest for interconnectivity and a place where a love ethic (as coined by bell hooks) is embodied and enacted. As Sun Ra says ‘Space is the place’.”

Vida co-directed the music video with Frankie, a Pōneke based artist who shares Vida’s love of experimental shorts and performance. The duo worked with make-up artist Tallulah McLean (@lookbomb) to create the headpiece and prosthetics that brought Takavi to life. The design took inspiration from creatures whose bodies and relationships transcends human-held binaries of sexuality and gender; drawing from sea slugs, iridescent jellyfish, and the watery colours and textures of amniotic sacs. Frankie, who made the headpiece is also obsessed with fish so wanted to give this alien a galactic dorsal fin, hence the shape.

The video follows follows Takavi, who is stuck on earth and is forced to participate in the 9-5 capitalist grind; only to spend all the week's earnings on a sci-fi painted backdrop in order to pretend to be back in space where we know how to love up on each other.

The aesthetic drew inspiration from 70's and 80's sci-fi and fantasy like Doctor Who and The Neverending Story, as well as the D.I.Y charm of theatre sets and costume, where both co-directors got their start.

“I remember watching an old episode of Doctor Who as a kid, where you could see that the alien was made out of painted bubble wrap - and it made me love it more,” says Frankie. “It captures the mundane and the otherworldly occurring simultaneously.” It’s this magic of mundanity that sits behind the video and the song.

Recurring motifs of mouths and tongues were drawn from Vida’s ongoing exploration of bodily hydration systems. Vida completed a P.G Dip. in fine arts at Massey University last year and much of her work centred on the interconnection between bodily and environmental hydration. Inspired by thinkers such as Audre Lorde in her legendary text Uses of the Erotic; Vida believes the erotic is the activation of one's life force and therefore essential to the pursuit of meaningful change. As a singer, she looks to the voice as a vessel of joy, sensuality and wetness, generating new potential for nourishing our ecologies. At one point in the video, a probe camera is used to dive down the singer’s throat bringing a visceral, otherworldly moment to the sci-fi adventure.

As the producer of the project, Vida was thrilled with the creative team that came together to make the video, despite no funding being involved. Director of Photography Bayley Broome-Peake has won awards for her DOP work on shorts such as White Lillies and My Story. Animator Imy Davies was found by the Co-Directors through an Instagram search and delivered sci-fi visuals that wove throughout the footage. Editor Sam Small also worked on Dick Move’s iconic Small Man, Big Tweet music video. “The generosity of our creative collaborators is what made this whole project possible” says Vida.

Most of all, the process was fuelled by Vida and Frankie’s friendship and their shared sense of humour. “We answer every phone call with a gag and are both neurodivergent, weird art nerds that love to riff on the more eccentric parts of each other's spirits,” shares Frankie.

Moving forward Vida intends to spend the year gigging as she releases the rest of her EP and will be playing Whammy Backroom in Auckland on March 14th. Frankie is hard at work on her short film which Vida is set to score.

Photo Credit: Sean Wallace and Hannah Lynch

Next: Boardgames for Blondes releases debut album 'On The Run'

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