Self-described witch pop artist ANIIML is here to “SLAY!”
The Canada-born, L.A.-based performer is exclusively releasing her new video, shot on an iPhone in her own yard, for the new single inspired by the slang phrase.
“Sort of like ‘You did that thing well, or impressively,’ ‘You slayed that,”’ ANIIML (nee Lila Rose) tells INTO. “But a few days ago, I did look up the actual definition for the word, and it turns out, it is terribly far from what I mean by it: to violently destroy or kill. Definitely not what I meant by it, clearly!”
Still, she says the two could work together for her intention, as “SLAY!” is also meant “to imply the concept of absolutely destroying the parts of life which do not serve us. Essentially, bringing light from the darkness… slaying the dark.”
ANIIML, who is openly queer, refers to herself as a “body artist.” In her videos, she uses her nude body, which she says is not intended to be sexualized, but often is.
“I see myself as a performance artist who uses the body as her main canvas,” she says. “Why can a human body not simply be another canvas? I see the body as the most beautiful, most controversial, and yet most basic piece of art we are given to create with, and from.”
She says her sexual identity doesn’t factor much into her music, but that her queerness can help her to feel a stronger connection to her body in terms of its use in her art.
“My sexuality is my private business, and to be perfectly honest I can be extremely insecure about my body. But when it comes to making art, all of that disappears,” she says. “This is about making something beyond insecurities, and beyond ‘sexuality.’ It’s about a message, a meaning, and the willingness to show up regardless of people’s obvious misconstrued analysis and understanding of said art.”
“SLAY!” is one in a series of singles ANIIML is releasing this fall, and the video is a gorgeous gem-filled celebration of the female body — a dark but warm-toned portrait of sweat and dew created by the 8mm app on her iPhone. She said she shot it with a bunch of girlfriends, “covered in coconut oil, by the light of candles and the moon. It was magical.”
She explains the video concept is about the “adventure into the depths of darkness” — that inside are creative spirits; gems of creativity.
“We excavate these gems, plant them in the soils of our inner worlds, to bring new life from those sorrows. 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,” she says. “Once the flowers have sprouted, the keepers of the darkness have been given life and freedom.”