kilo kish has a bloody battle with her evil twin in 'void'

The surreal new video, premiering today on i-D, imagines a triumph over one's inner demons.

by Stephanie Smith-Strickland
08 October 2018, 6:31pm

“I wanted it to feel like a weird alien Little House on the Prairie,” explains 28-year-old Kilo Kish of her new video for “Void,” which also serves as an experimental collaboration with friend and director Elliott Sellers. The single appears on Mothe, the multi-hyphenate talent’s latest EP. And, true to form for an artist who thrives on re-invention, the song’s accompanying visual pulls back from the insularity of Kish’s last project, the critically acclaimed Reflections in Real Time. Rather than inviting the viewer back into the inner sanctum of her mind, in “Void” the singer-songwriter challenges us to venture into our own internal void, and unpack the struggles with self so many of us feel. In the opening scene, a bloody, seemingly shell-shocked Kish makes her way into a modernist mansion where an impeccably decorated interior does nothing to dissuade the feeling that all is not right, and as we soon find out, it really isn’t. The appearance of a doppelgänger, dressed in the same clothing and clearly looking for a fight, sees the narrative find the intersection of nostalgic extraterrestrial movies (think Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and the sort of artistic brutality one might find in a piece of performance art. i-D sat down with Kish to talk about the inspiration behind “Void,” which you can watch in full below.

What do you want people to take away from the video?
“Void” is a video about the death, rebirth, and resurrection process, and also fighting against the things that don’t want you to be you and actually triumphing. I think when we try to create sometimes there is real opposition and real setbacks in projects and work or even in relationships, and sometimes it’s this imaginary force that doesn’t actually exist; that’s kind of what the song “Void” is about. Aside from that, it’s open to interpretation.

Tell us a little more about how you prepared for the fight scenes?
This particular video was actually an idea for a song on Reflections in Real Time but we kind of never got around to it. When I was making Mothe I realized “Void” fit way better than the song we were going to do it for. We shot up in Topanga Canyon, and it was probably the most intense shoot that I’ve ever done just because it was so physical. We had to do stunt training but we didn’t have that many days with the coordinator so we really packed it all into a week and a half.

How do you ideate for your music videos? Particularly given your strong visual background.
Sometimes if I have an idea when I first start making a song then I’ll try to write it down and get references immediately. I keep them in a really organized Dropbox folder so that later down the line when we’re trying to make the visuals I can pull from the references. I took a more lax approach to “Void” so I wasn’t as organized with it on purpose. I kind of just wanted to see what would happen.

What were some of your references and inspirations?
I was inspired by the Alien title screen so the ending has a split screen with Helvetica text like in the movie. I liked the location because it reminded me of that super sterile house in Gone Girl, which is what I wanted. Performance-wise, my body double was actually a close friend of mine, which was really interesting because we’ve never had that much intimacy — I didn’t realize how intimate fighting can be. It was kind of a challenge to stay in the character and not just jump back into my own personality because obviously we were trying to kill each other. As far as the style, I didn’t want any type of personality or branding on the characters. I wanted the bob hairstyle to be very plain. I wanted the clothing to be very plain and a little bit innocent. I knew I wanted a dress just because I wanted that juxtaposition between the brutality with something more immediately recognizable as feminine.

music videos
Kilo Kish