Hi, my name is Yara Liz, I’m a cinematic artist, and I am here to go through the process of writing my new single “Feel Alright”, and the making of the music video.
“Feel Alright”, is a song about the desire to be in a better reality than the one we live in, the frustrations of being in a world full of violence, war and depression. I wrote it during the pandemic, after Russia invaded Ukraine, troubling times for everyone. It was so devastating and I felt alone.
During lockdown in 2020, I didn’t have my family or friends around because I had recently moved to London on my own. When I started writing the song, I was just hoping that the day after would be better than the day before. That’s why I wrote “It’s a new day, It’s a new day and I feel alright”.
My good friend and producer Matt Swanton gave me a folder of sketches he produced, and when I heard the sketch of what then became the demo of the song, I immediately toplined it with the first verse and chorus.
This original demo had the sound of an alarm throughout the song, which made me think of the contrast between waking up to a brand new joyful day or a difficult day, when it’s hard to get out of bed at 7am to go do a meaningless job, return home, make dinner and go to sleep. I then wrote “look at the sweaty hands, look at the tired eyes, I’m sure everybody understands”.
An important line in this song is “Somewhere between man and machine I am in paradise, and it feels so nice to pretend until it becomes true”. I wanted to capture the origin of the desire to be in paradise, whether it is a place in someone’s head they can escape to when reality hits; or it can even be heaven for someone with dark thoughts because the world is too cruel to live in… There’s a certain danger to this desire.
When Russia invaded Ukraine I was so frustrated and heartbroken, it made me think of all the times people have lived through wars, violence and hurt, at the hands of leaders who manipulate, harm, lie, destroy. They take and take, and there’s nothing left but ashes and ruins.
I finished writing the song with “One day we build a wall, one day we go to war until there’s nothing left. I cannot hear the lies, I cannot breathe as I feel so paralysed”. When I took this song to producers and composers, Alvin Lee Ryan and Quentin Lachapèle added all the strings, brass and epic vibe of this song.
As part of the universe I am building, I wanted the music video to be a reflection of what’s going on in my head. I like to imagine my universe as this fantasy world which contains different realms. For this song I wanted to show two of the five realms.
One of them is lifeless, degraded, with ghosts of memories I discarded, which represent this harsh reality. The other realm is magical, full of life, nature, life thrives, and it represents the place where I desire to be. So in this video, you see me in this abandoned place, like a ghost.
My initial idea was to create a crossover between these two realms, to capture the desire of escaping to a different reality, but in a more magical way. I didn’t know how to make this come to life, until I was inspired by the show The OA. The main characters have a ritual, a series of movements they perform to travel across universes, so I decided to do something similar.
To make the music video I searched for locations that would belong in a fantasy film, my friends from JMNI and I shot across a few days in France and in two flower fields in the UK. We went to a beautiful forest in Normandy, a beach and its cliffs as well as the abandoned house where the ghost lives.
The outfits for this video were created by my friend Alisha Kumar, who’s a fashion designer, my friend Juliette and myself. We created the abandoned house look together by ripping, cutting holes and sewing pieces of fabric together. We added dyes to make it look old, worn out and mouldy, to make it look similar to the abandoned house. I designed the other pieces myself, with fabric paints, pieces of fabrics and clothes together.
I wanted each outfit to represent the place I was filming, except for the lavender field. In this location I wanted to have a contrast between the look and the flowers, to express my negative feelings, the frustration and pain, mixed with a magical place that is supposed to make me feel better.
I hope you enjoy the music and the video, thank you for allowing me to share my story and creative process with you! Watch the video for “Feel Alright” below and stream it everywhere else here