The video was shot by Lila Rose on her iPhone over the course of a month in the wilds of her own yard, featuring a cast of female friends and band mates. “SLAY!” is a proclamation of independence and freedom. After the release of her 2017 single “It’s Over”, Lila found herself in need of some personal recovery time due to her real life experience connected to the subject matter of that song and its video. After having reemerged from her own healing, she found herself wanting her next piece to be about finding that strength on the other side of a very difficult time in life. Discussing, Lila states… “I’m a hunter for the darkness,” means I hunt the feelings, experiences, and thoughts of the dark parts of life in order to excavate the gems from their depths, and to create beauty/art out of them. My experience with art-making has traditionally been that I delve into a difficult situation in life (my own, or someone else), and feel all the pains of that place, and write from there.” “Through this adventure into the depths of darkness, we find these creative “spirits” who hold these “gems of creativity” within them. We excavate these gems, plant them in the soils of our inner worlds, to bring new life from those sorrows. That new life is art. In the case of this video, we excavate the gems from the core of the “keepers of the darkness,” plant them, and the place from which they came sprouts new life. Once the flowers have sprouted, the keepers of the darkness have been given life and freedom. And of course, by following that process, I myself have my own inner transformation, which is when I birth a flower out of my own body, and go through the metamorphosis into one of the keepers of the darkness myself. And the cycle continues. I have literally slayed the darkness.”
Interview Meikee Magnetic
What inspired you to shoot the video all on an iPhone?
This a funny story, are you ready? It kind of happened by chance. (Am I allowed to share this???) I don’t normally smoke weed, but somehow I ended up having his incredible experience with a friend and found that getting stoned made me extremely creative in ways outside of making music. So about once a month, I started smoking, but EXCLUSIVELY for work. Because literally, as soon as I smoke, it’s like a faucet is turned on and the creativity just starts pouring out of me uncontrollably. It’s fascinating actually. So one day, I was doing my monthly ritual, and started fiddling with an 8mm app on my iphone, and found myself extremely inspired and excited by what I was creating. Mind you, my previous 5 music videos were very high end productions – very clean and polished. So I knew that I needed to try something new for this new video, and suddenly it hit me: I’M SUPPOSED TO SHOOT THIS VIDEO MYSELF. Nevermind all of the fancy camera and lights and makeup… this video was about ME empowering myself to trust my own creative powers in a new way. So, I started doing some tests with some girlfriends, and before I knew it, I was shooting an artsy video in my backyard over the period of about a month. It was pure magic, and I’m gonna keep doing it!
Did you find it to open more creativity in doing it this way?
Oh absolutely. What this meant was, if I had a wild idea (which I normally do), I could just whip my phone out anywhere any time and make it happen. Especially considering my approach was lofi, it made it so that I could get away with my visions more easily.
Why did you change your artist name from Lila Rose to ANIIML?
I changed my performer name to ANIIML for a few reasons. The most important being that I wanted the message of my music to be evident even in the name: we have defined ourselves as “different” calling “them” animals and us “humans”. The reality is that humans ARE animals. Scientifically. This distinction, and distinctions of “otherness” like this is what create such horrific suffering on this Earth, and with the planet ourselves. The name is a reminder: we’re part of the same family… so lets start treating each other that way (ok, but less hippy-ish).
What have you learned as an artist and what can we expect to see and hear from you?
I’ve learnt that I can literally do anything I put my mind to. Direct a video? Done. Edit it myself? Got it. Things I never thought I would EVER do. You should expect to continue to hear me explore new horizons and edges, and hear my willingness to push the limits of unknown frontiers. That’s my job. On a massive scale. That’s what you should expect.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Mmmmmm it means being unafraid to bare witness to all of the sides of life. Not just the happy, pleasant, easy to digest. It’s about the willingness to explore, and live and enjoy the beauty of the dark side as well. This is also a big part of my creative purpose here. I AM unafraid to be the darkness, and share it.