Perera Elsewhere is blurring the boundary between the artificial and the real
London-born, Berlin-based producer Perera Elsewhere (aka Sasha Perera) sinks further into the exploration of her heritage and roots on her latest EP Thrill.
The new release, which follows up from 2017’s full-length album All of This, sees the artist expand further into her dark, hypnotic vision of experimental pop. Thrill is the sound of, as she says, “Perera Elsewhere in the making.” Between her last LP and Thrill, her work was used in Paolo Sorrentino’s feature film Loro last year, and it’s certainly easy to see why Perera’s work would be selected for a film soundtrack. With her silky vocals and spacious production, Perera’s seductive work sounds like it could belong to another world.
We’re excited to be premiering the video for Perera’s latest single Sunk in Motion. Enlisting producer Dis Fig for vocal duties, the four-minute visual stitches together lo-fi, sped-up clips of their combined travels on the road. Think cobbled streets, snowcapped mountains, winding roads and the Golden Gate Bridge that all flicker past in a whirl of motion.
Below, we catch up with Perera to talk the ideas behind her video and what she’s got planned next.
Can you walk me through the ideas behind the video? What was your starting point and how does it connect to the track?
It started by me giving my long term visual collaborator and friend Hugo Holger Schneider a zip full of videos from my phone and old digital camera. They ranged from around 2008 ’til now. It’s not the first time we have decided to use existing pieces of material rather than film new material. There is something organic about using things that already exist and the idea of ‘available-ism,’ especially in an era where we already have so much imagery, documentation and self-portrayal surrounding us, in our lives and on our phones.
I gave Hugo all the tracks of my EP and he started cutting the footage to Sunk in Motion featuring Dis Fig (aka Felicia Chen). He found a creative flow with the beat I made for Sunk in Motion and the atmosphere Dis Fig created with her vocals. It was the process itself that connected the video to the song. At some point I asked Felicia to send Hugo some phone and camera footage, so that some of her life, travels and perspectives could be combined with mine. Interestingly we had some pretty similar footage! Like feet in water or selfies in the bathroom, or views from planes! Our worlds in motion documented through our very own lenses with varying technological devices, in different decades, in different resolutions and over four continents!
How does the video link to your upcoming EP?
We wanted to try and connect the video for Sunk in Motion to the whole Thrill EP cover which is highly retrospective; a grainy picture of me when I was seven years old and lived in London. This is the most private cover artwork I have ever used. It is totally unconstructed as it is a real life portrayal of my childhood. There is often a certain boundary between your artistic persona and your real self. In this case the boundary is missing.
To take this one step further Hugo constructed a series of surrealist At Home with Perera Elsewhere collages. An utterly constructed world of a grown up Perera Elsewhere in her home, years after that photo in London was taken. Stills from her travels from the Sunk in Motion video are projected in the imaginary home of Perera Elsewhere. They make up part of the decoration and interior design of her living space. The cover art of her Thrill EP is also hanging on the wall in her home.
There’s usually a rawness to your music videos. Is this intentional? How is this designed to alter the listener’s experience?
I think we live in an age where everyone is a musician or wants to be a musician and the imagery surrounding us is very streamlined, predictable and often obviously constructed. Hugo and I have collaborated on things for years and bounce off each other in a multidisciplinary way. We use the idea of ‘available-ism’ and utilise our surroundings and the content or substance of our lives. We incorporate the process into the result. It’s partly intentional, partly situational and partly straight-up coincidence. There is a lot of satire involved because just look at the world generally and the music industry – it’s literally ridiculous. So in order to carry on you simply have to flow and have fun.
I’m making a limited edition T-shirt for the EP, and I’m playing a load of live audiovisual shows! I’m particularly looking forward to being in Atlanta in Georgia and Tromso in the Arctic Circle. They feel off the radar for me which is exciting.