Following on from the release of her hit 2017 EP ‘Don’t Leave the Fire‘, Berlin-based pop artist B O K E H has returned with her new single ‘Options‘, a song about “being held back from one’s own potential”.
Speaking to Eat This Music in a recent Q&A about ‘Options’, B O K E H explained how the single is also used as a platform to explore “the sort of repression that embodies certain relationships” and also “the relationship with one’s own thoughts”, while also touching on “self judgement” and “taking responsibility” and “ownership of one’s own actions, choices and ultimately, freedom.”
“Music starts from a very personal place for me, and the fiction grows from there.. so yes, my real life and where I was at the time of writing it played a huge part in the lyrics.”
Expressing her relief of the single being out, B O K E H told Eat This Music how it is “always funny how long these things [music] can take to come out.” Having originally written the “song almost a year ago”, B O K E H is happy with the response as it “has been amazing.” Expanding on the previous statement, B O K E H’s ‘Options’ has also found placement on “great playlist” on “Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Deezer,” to name few, and it has “gone to radio” – including this past week on Eat This Music. Although, most importantly, B O K E H “had really lovely responses from people who have really connected to the theme and the message of the project,” which is the “most touching and rewarding thing for” B O K E H.
Going into detail about the creation of the single and music video, B O K E H explained how the process was very collaborative, explaining how she “wrote the song on a songwriting trip” with some of her “friends in Tuscany, Italy at” a place “called ‘Fattoria La Vialla’.” B O K E H did “a lot of songwriting for other artists” and ‘Options’ “was the first session that” she “ever had that” she “had to keep the song for herself.” B O K E H “was successful in receiving some funding from a New Zealand organisation called ” NZ On Air”, so she “then took the song back” with her “to Berlin and re-produced it with an incredible Dutch fellow called Wouter Rentema.”
“I was producing the song and conceptualising and producing the video at the same time, so the two were really made together, as one audiovisual project, hand in hand.”
On the importance of the single, B O K E H tells Eat This Music how it was important for her “to make the song, due to it’s message”, which is the “whole project is a dedication to anyone who has ever felt repressed due to their true desires, gender or sexuality.”
To coincide with the release of the single, B O K E H has released a beautiful music video that showcases the main character dancing – played by Daniel Asamoah, however, there is more to the single than what is firstly interpreted. Speaking on the music video, B O K E H explains how the “music video is self-directed and produced by” B O K E H herself, under her “film production company called ‘Ramona Ramona’, which B O K E H runs “together with” her best friend. B O K E H “come from an acting/filmmaking background,” so the “visual side of” the “music is just as important” to her “as the music itself.” B O K E H “knew right from the moment” she “wrote the song,” that the visual portion of the single “had to be a dance video.”
On the story of the video, B O K E H explains how “Daniel Asamoah – the incredible protagonist plays a character called ‘Dominic’ in the video”, hides “his desire to be a professional dancer” and ultimately, “his true sexuality.” Expanding on the aforementioned, B O K E H adds how He [Dominic] “is trapped inside a square box.” “One day a week he hires a private dance studio, a space where he can let go, be his real self and find his own validation”, we then “see Dominic dancing his internal battles with his identity, gender and sexuality, until he loses his inhibitions and fears, finally claiming his own body, desires and choices”, B O K E H expresses.
With all that said, the remainder of 2019 looks to be a busy time for B O K E H as she is currently “now working on some new songs” and also hopes “to produce a follow-up audiovisual project in the coming months for B O K E H.” And “also recording an album with” her “other band, Charity Children,” which “will be released next year.” B O K E H is “also directing a couple of music videos and also songwriting for other artists.” Also, it is “getting colder” where B O K E H is right now “in Berlin,” so essentially it is “the perfect weather for hibernating and creating,” B O K E H concludes.
‘Options’ is a great track, and although though the creation of the single and video were created hand in hand as B O K E H explains above, the audio version is fantastic as an electro-pop track showcasing B O K E H’s great vocal range and production technique, and it does showcase the message of the single as strongly as the video aspect. Dominic’s dancing is also wonderful and takes the viewer on an interesting journey to the end.