The Artist Explains: Queen Alaska - 'Under My Skin'
We speak to Berlin based electronic producer and songwriter Queen Alaska about her spellbinding debut single and DIY music video, 'Under My Skin'.
Led by a soft and subtle vocal, 'Under My Skin' is an electrifying tapestry of emotive, classical aesthetics woven between progressive, electronic influences. Enveloping all of the senses, Queen Alaska pulls her listener deeper into her world, as the emotion she is feeling through her poetic lyricism and affecting production becomes an experience fully shared with her listener.
Queen Alaska Explains:
The video was filmed in Berlin, at different locations - on the rooftop of my old flat in Kreuzberg, in empty rooms of the new one in Neukölln (just moved during that time), at Tempelhofer Feld (former airport in the middle of Berlin, huge free field) which is right next to my new place. So it was filmed just within my everyday living circle.
How does the video/ footage compliment the song?
The song is about longing for someone, for something or longing for a certain feeling. It is about the state of unfulfilled desire that creeps right under your skin. You are terribly missing something while you exactly know what you want but you can’t grab it, can’t take it. This feeling is like damp, intangible but it creeps in your bones, uncomfortable, possessive. The content of the footage reflects these uncertain moments full of urge, lost in the inner world of thoughts and wishes.
The close-ups underline the intensity, and the fact that it takes over every pit of your body, every hair, every pore, and finally the soul. That is why I wanted to show a lot of skin, not for the sake of attraction but to show the pure expression of the soul. During the video the person is floating within the area of unfulfilled and fulfilled desire while the lyrics are expressing these two poles... go away or come closer.
Any behind the scenes stories?
I shot the video with my drummer Jannis Knüpfer. He is the man behind the camera, he filmed me (and I filmed him - he is in the video as well!). I designed and edited the video while he was giving constant feedback. We created an easy workflow - that was good teamwork.
Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
I chose the moon as the symbol for longing, wishing, waiting, wondering. I’ve always been drawn to the moon, already as a child. As soon as the sun went down and the moon came up I became silent and sentimental, feeling all the things that were missing in my inner world, wondering about the future. So I looked at the moon, she or he looked back, and it always calmed me down. The moon and the man (on the moon) stands for the missing thing. It might not always be a person, it can also be a feeling or a goal in your life.
Another symbol is the constant movements and circles - as the moon makes its circles, everything else does. So move on with yourself and make a change!
What is the message you hope people take from watching the video?
I hope that people can relate to that possessive feeling of longing that creeps right under the skin and in the bones.. It is a suffering state of mind but, at the same time, it carries the imagination of something very fulfilling which is also very beautiful. Still, this in-between state of mind can drive you crazy so song & video express the urge for achange. "Go away / or come closer / just don’t stay / in my imagination" - is a clear exclamation.
Over the course of the video things slowly change, the man on the moon becomes less abstract, you can suddenly see his face. Wishes become reality. And finally the fulfillment of desire, the satisfaction, is suddenly there in shape of love, intimacy and comfort. So in the very best case the viewer feels hope to take action if she/he is in a related situation.
Interview Feature by Karla Harris
'Under My Skin' is the first single taken from Queen Alaska's forthcoming EP 'Interlude of the Inner Voice I/II'.