During October of 2020 — a year within which much ado about everything changed for us all — Naye Ayla released her sophomore EP, Every Feeling, as an independent and unsigned artist on all digital streaming platforms. In the time since the EP’s release, Naye has continued to put her imagination, creativity and passion for sonic artistic creation to the challenge and has continued to push the boundaries where the world’s expectations about what indie music coming out of this country should and can sound like — especially in her positionality as a Black femme creating work in the spaces of art, media and entertainment. The latest music video offering from the musician for the song “Breath Me” — off of the 8-track R&B and soul-infused Every Feeling — was co-directed by Naye herself alongside Nolitha Nondzaba. Working independently, Naye had to dig deep within her own untapped creativity to conceptualise and execute the music video in all of its entirety, from the aesthetic tone/mood, to its colours and set design, all the way through to the styling. The song’s music video is essentially quite stripped back, with “Breath Me” finding its aesthetic and visual bedrock in symbolism and minimalism. Muted earth tones and a warmth that alludes to affective tenderness by virtue of the video’s lighting, lead the way in its visual grammar. Accompanied hand in hand by evocative symbology in the form of ripe fruit being offered and received in nourishment, replenishing water and visualised acts of care — such as the tender act of laying moisturising balm to the base of a Black femme’s scalp — between the music video’s two protagonists. Further elaborating on the song and its music video Naye Ayle shares that;
‘Breathe Me’, is about a woman’s certainty in her own magic. Coming into the confidence to say what she wants and to share how she feels about herself. It’s soft but affirmative. Inviting, warm and in the visuals [we] use several different elements to highlight the softness and purity of [femme] energy. We use water, fruits, plants, flowers and materials like silk and lace [along with] very neutral colours in the styling of the video. We also used lighting to create a contrast between the scenes where we see her by herself — which are usually a little darker and deeper in colour — and the scenes we see her with a man, which are lighter and almost fantasy like. [This all] Strengthens the idea that she may be a magical experience. The video was meant to be simple and light and easy to digest, and should make you feel pretty inside.
Watch Naye Ayla’s “Breath Me” music video here!