From Norway to Los Angeles, and now London, the pop artist, and singer/songwriter, SARAS releases her passionate single "Pretty While You Kill Me." Drilling vulnerability in all of her songs, SARAS has taken pain and suffering and transmuted her woes into relatable music to give any listener peace of mind. Her latest single "Pretty While You Kill Me" is a prime example of this, as SARAS sings a story of being practically hypnotized by someone who continues to hurt her while she copes with the pain and attempts to move forward. Not to mention also releasing a brilliantly edited music video for the single, we're able to see SARAS perform with the passion she created this song with and take her creativity to new places.
"Pretty While You Kill Me" opens with sweet electro-pop ambiance and soft drum patterns. While distant pads and synths begin to appear, SARAS starts singing such relatable lyrics of slowly seeing red flags appear but overlooking them due to the person's effortless charm. The supporting pop instrumentals help the track's atmosphere build into this dream-like state where reality and fantasy are challenging to decipher. That being said, SARAS' lyrical content is the track's strong point, as she explains such heavy emotions but in a very engaging and inviting manner. We're highly impressed with the overall experience SARAS has delivered with "Pretty While You Kill Me." We're patiently waiting for her to release more music for us to get lost in.
Hello, SARAS, we'd like to start by saying how impressed we were with the lyrical content you've written on "Pretty While You Kill Me." What was your songwriting process like when creating lyrics to fit how you felt?
Thank you so much! This song was funnily enough inspired by the smoke break one of my co-writers was taking before we started the session. While I was keeping him company, we starting chatting about how aesthetically pleasing American cigarette boxes are compared to the European ones, covered in warning signs and graphic pictures. I playfully said “well, at least it’s pretty while it kills you” and we both looked at each other and knew we had something special. My mind started racing with images of beautifully poisonous plants, animals that are deadly but so alluring, etc, all perfectly designed to do you in. It’s in our nature to be drawn in by beautiful things that are bad for us. We brought this idea into the session and started talking about the kinds of relationships where we received every sort of red flag or wrong kind of butterflies but pushed on anyway because we almost just couldn’t help ourselves being drawn in. We started sharing our stories and the words sort of fell out. I feel like by keeping the lyrics more focused on the circumstances this kind of relationship pulls you into, it gives the listener room to hear their own story and experiences in it.
The instrumentals within "Pretty While You Kill Me" are rather lighthearted and upbeat. Why did you choose to give the track a brighter atmosphere, rather than something more downtempo and dispirited?
I’m all about contrast and a bit of cheekiness. I loved the idea that you almost get to laugh at yourself a little bit with this song. Yes, it’s about a relationship that’s killing you but it’s also like “hey—I did this to myself and at least I’ve got someone gorgeous to look at on the way down.” I wanted something bouncy that people could still bop to because sometimes when you’re really going through it, you deserve to dance a little too. I tried a few different producers on it because I really wanted it to feel light and move, while still leaving enough space to let the words stand out and finally I found the right fit in some friends from my days in Norway.
Speaking on the music video for "Pretty While You Kill Me," how did you come up with your scenes, the concept, and the video's overall tone?
So this entire music video was shot during April in full quarantine at my parent’s house in Connecticut. I originally had something entirely different planned but….sometimes the universe has different plans and you have to pivot. I was grieving the loss of a two-year relationship, my daily life in Los Angeles as I knew it, stressed about the state of the world, and working so hard to keep it all together and stay strong in front of my family. This time period was really dark and it felt like falling down a rabbit hole so I decided to lean into that and just let go. Blue hour is my favorite color/time of day and seemed to perfectly evoke the dark, bewitching feeling that I was going for..but of course that creates another challenge because you only get about one hour to shoot each day as the light shifts. My mom did an amazing job behind the camera, following directions for specific angles and movements and helping me find solutions for ideas I had but didn’t know how to achieve. Also, my editor, Bia Jurema captured perfectly the frenetic, dream-like energy that I was looking for and brought the whole thing to another level. I’m actually really grateful for the different direction this took because this video challenged me to stand on my own two feet, use only what I had around me, and overcome obstacles that were honestly a very welcome distraction during a very difficult time.
Seeing as you've moved from city to city (and different countries), how do you tweak your sound to fit your current city's music scene yet still be inviting on a global level as well?
Every place I’ve lived in has been full of new experiences and people. I grew up listening to 60s & 70s classics and show tunes in the house, shiny 90s/early 2000s pop, country music from my time in the south, Scandinavian pop from my time in Norway, and going to drag shows in New York City. All of it has brought me to where I am now and I try not to think about what genre I fit in to. All of these influences have helped build my “soundscape”, whether I realize it or not, and I just make music that makes me feel something. I know that my music will evolve and change with each song released because I don’t fit into one box but I hope my fans hear the common thread running through all of it: me.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout 2020?
2020 has been….a rollercoaster, to say the least, hasn’t it? Human connection has been so important these days, but I’ve also become so much more comfortable being by myself. Something that's brought me a lot of strength was also the realization that I didn’t have to be inspired to create every minute of every day. I used to put so much pressure on myself about that and the last few months have really been eye-opening of how important letting yourself rest and reset can bring about inspiration more than staying frantically busy and burning out. I’ve gone through so much self-growth in the last few months and the fact that we’re all constantly evolving and changing has kept me motivated to just find little things that make me happy and move in that direction. Surrounding myself with people that build me up, make me laugh, and support me make me feel like I’m capable of anything and that keeps me going.