Occasionally a song strikes you straight through the heart; Lose My Cool by New York singer and songwriter Amber Marks is one such tune. Light 'n' bright 'n' breezy on the surface, scratch a little deeper beneath the tropical electronica and Marks' sublime R&B vocal, and Lose My Cool reveals itself to be a deftly nuanced look at death.
Mark spent her childhood roaming the world with her mother, from Miami to New York, India to Berlin. Amber's artist mum filled her daughter's eyes with vibrant colours and her ears with Indian classical music, hip hop and jazz. Following the death of her mother in 2013, Mark embarked on a musical project that attempted to make sense of her mother's death as well as the various stages of loss and grief.
The result is the forthcoming EP, 3:33 AM, a brilliant blend of future R&B and soulful electronica that focuses more on celebrating life than lamenting death. Written and produced entirely herself, Mark wanted to create a musical moment that inspired rather than saddened. "I didn't want it to be this depressing EP," she says. "I wanted it to uplift people who had gone through [losing someone]." Releasing her very first track Space in 2016, Marks' music was soon spotted by Zane Lowe and she was quickly signed to PMR Records, alongside Jessie Ware, Disclosure and Jamie Woon.
Directed by Courtney Phillips, i-D is super happy to premiere this brilliant new track from this promising new act. Press play on Lose My Cool and read on to discover Amber's intentions for the video.
1. Lose My Cool looks at anger within the grieving process
"Lose My Cool is the second track on my EP dedicated to a stage in the grieving process. This track represents anger. I really bottled a lot up after my mother passed and one day I couldn't handle it anymore and just exploded on all of my friends and family. It was a very passive way of dealing with things, not very healthy."
2. The video is set in New York
"We shot in New York City, at my house actually, in early March of this year. The amazing, talented Courtney Philips directed it. It was the first music video I've ever done and Courtney was helpful in every way possible. We wanted to capture a bunch of little bothersome things happening to me that were just building up inside 'til I just I passively explode. Courtney thought it would be interesting to have me explode on someone characteristically close to me, so we have the viewer watching the video through my boyfriend's eye, whose character is capturing all of these moments."
3. The paparazzi style shots represent...
"The man (my boyfriend) behind the camera capturing me progressively getting angrier."
4. The video touches on her Buddhist upbringing
"My mother was a Tibetan Buddhist. Whether or not I was raised Buddhist is for the reader to decide. As a young child when we lived in the U.S. I would always come with her to her meditation group sessions. But I wasn't practicing at the time, I was just being an annoying six-year-old and doing gymnastics in the middle of the circle they created. I'm sure that was very distracting, but a good challenge to keep your mind centred. I don't meditate anymore and I wouldn't call myself a Buddhist nowadays, though I do chant mantras here and there depending on the situation."
5. Writing the song provided a sense of catharsis for Amber
"Getting over this stage was quite difficult, I pretty much locked myself in my room for a month and just wrote about all the emotions I was feeling... It was an intense learning experience for me as I was angry at the world but didn't know why."
6. Amber got to knock down a huge tower of prosecco, which was also a pretty cathartic experience
"The scene where I knock down the prosecco tower is my favourite. It's so relieving. Like yelling into a pillow or throwing something. I had the image of a prosecco tower when I first wrote the song. So I knew we had to some how recreate it."
3.33 AM is released on 12 May
Text Hattie Collins