From Iceland — Grapevine Music Awards 2019: Best Video - aYia's “Slow”

Grapevine Music Awards 2019: Best Video – aYia’s “Slow”

Published January 7, 2019

Grayson Del Faro
Photo by
Magnús Andersen

As a music project that has always had a keen eye for their visual components (or lack thereof, where necessary), the title of Best Video going to aYia might not be a surprise. With their first album out from Bedroom Community and at least one headlining show announced at Berlin’s Kantine am Berghain this May, aYia is a dark star on the rise. Frontwoman Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, and Alexandre Souêtre, the director of “Slow,” shared their behind-the-scenes thoughts on the winning video.

Love at first listen

Like many, Los Angeles-based director Alexandre admits to being a bit of an Icelandophile. So when he went for drinks with Colm O’Herlihy, the label manager of Bedroom Community, the solution was only natural. “I told him, ‘Look, if you ever have an artist that needs a music video, I would love to direct one for you guys,’” he begins. “He just pulled out a computer and played a few songs. The first one he played was that aYia song, or a very early stage of it, and I instantly told him, ‘That’s it. I’m doing it. I don’t know what it takes, but I’ll take care of it.’”

Eye to eye

True to its name, “Slow” is a hypnotic track that builds from soft, delicate tones to a deep, pulsing epic in its own sweet time. “I’m not much of a storyteller,” he says. “Most of the videos I make don’t have a clear narrative, it’s usually more about a mood or a vibe. So, knowing a little bit of what I had seen in Iceland, I had some ideas already and even some locations in there that I wanted to use specifically.”

“I wanted to recreate a sort of resemblance of the point of view of a young child looking at the world.”

In addition to Iceland, the video has shots from around LA. One of the most startling features of the video is not necessarily that juxtaposition, but the opposite: it makes LA feel almost as moody and atmospheric as the Icelandic countryside. “The main concept behind the video isn’t really something that translates visually,” he explains, “nor was it the goal, really. But I wanted to recreate a sort of resemblance of the point of view of a young child looking at the world.”

Process of becoming

“These shots go whoosh, whoosh, whoosh,” Ásta echoes. “All kinds of scenes that question your barrier of connecting things. Most things that are connectable in movies are clear, with at least a couple of clear narratives. But it seems like this is not what Alexandre is working with. The tiny changes that pile together raise so many questions.”

More than simply a video, Ásta sees “Slow” as a metaphor for aYia right now. “I feel like we are in the beginning of a process of becoming. Although we’ve been playing for three years, we’ve just released an album and we just now have two videos. So we’re turning into. We’re becoming. In that sense, this video is like glimpses of the future that is possible.”

Read more about the music awards here.

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