redruM is out now!
Image: Brian Ziff
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Sorana has joined forces with and hit making DJ and producer David Guetta on redruM. We caught up with the singer to chat about the song, her collaborative relationship with Guetta, conceptualising her visuals and more!
Could you tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursuing a career in music?
Music was always my dream. I was just 3 years old, singing along to a Whitney Houston cassette in my childhood bedroom when I realized I had a voice so I decided right then and there that I was going to become a singer. This dream has driven me my entire life.
Your new single redruM makes a nod to the cult classic novel and film, The Shining. Tell us a bit about the significance of The Shining and how it influenced the creation of redruM…
I always wanted to write a song called redruM. I thought it could be a really cool title and it floated through my head for years before I wrote the song. One day it just poured out of me because it related to a situation I was going through. Coming out of a heartbreak and finding new love inspired this song. The Shining was more of an inspiration for the video. The video is an insight to what goes on in my mind. Sometimes it feels like it’s a psychological horror up there so it was only natural to make a horror inspired video, but I made it a pink glam slasher.
The song tells the tale of two people falling in love with the same person, what inspired that conceptual exploration?
Two people falling in love with the same person is a drama that happens so many times and no one really talks about it in songs. Especially not from the villain's point of view.
I found myself on both sides of this situation, but when I got to be happy and in love, I started feeling guilty about it, even though I did nothing wrong. I’ve had my fair share of heartbreaks and I know very well how painful it can be for your love to be unreciprocated or betrayed so in the lyrics I compare the pain of losing someone with a murder scene. The exaggerated metaphor represents my dramatic reaction to heartbreak and through this song I’m telling myself and anyone else going through a similar situation that we shouldn't dwell on the pain so much and enjoy love while it lasts. This song is literally a therapy session .
You teamed up with David Guetta on the track, how did that collaboration come about and what was your fondest moment of working together?
I met David Guetta a few years ago and we instantly clicked creatively. He told me that he loved my voice and the songs I wrote and that one day we will have a song together. To have this kind of validation from such an amazing artist at the beginning of my songwriting career was unreal! I worked really hard and I wrote a lot of songs to get here, including David’s hit record Heartbreak Anthem which he released in collab with Galantis and Little Mix and is nominated for this year’s Brit Awards.
The song interpolates a sample of Kanye West’s Heartless, approved by the musician himself. What prompted you to build upon the chorus melody of Heartless?
I’ve always been a fan of Kanye’s music and maybe the melodies we’re somewhere in the back of my mind, but the interpolation of Heartless was accidental and it’s only 8 notes, but even so I had to reach out and get it cleared and I was surprised when Kanye personally approved for me to use the sample. As a new artist, to have Kanye West credited on my debut single is insane.
The track arrives alongside an official visual. How important are the visuals for you in terms of representing the thematic exploration of the song?
For me every little detail is important as it adds another layer of depth to the story I want to tell. While the song is an ironic point of view on how dramatically I react to heartbreak, the video is an insight to what went through my head when I was writing the song. The two characters that I'm playing represent two of my personalities that are chasing each other through the corridors of my mind because they’re having a fight. One of them feels guilty for being in love while the other one says ‘why do you have to overthink everything? Why can’t you just enjoy what you have?’. I love how David Guetta's portrait appears on the walls of the hotel where we filmed, as a repetitive theme. I think that is a beautiful metaphor for the support he’s giving me at the start of my artist career.
How involved are you when it comes to conceptualising and developing the visuals?
I’m involved in every step of the way, from the general idea and the storyline development, to the styling, makeup, the colors of the set etc. I think it’s so important for an artist to be involved because it’s the only way to create something unique, personal and relatable. One of the characters that I play in the video has Light Up hair, which is a concept I came up with and it represents my inner light and ambition. The Light Up hair is a theme that will appear in different forms in my future visuals.
What’s your favourite scene from the music video and what was your most memorable moment on set?
There are so many scenes I love like the one where my evil personality pulls me in the TV with her long transparent claws with teddy bears on them. I love how we took classic horror scenes and made them super chic. As for the most memorable moment, it’s when I got into the pink slime bath in the end scene of the video. I thought it would be gross but I actually loved it.
If redruM was a piece of pre-existing visual art (painting, sculpture, photograph etc), which artwork would it be? (excluding the album artwork and accompanying visuals)
It would be something futuristic and at the same time very human like a Sorayama drawing.
What’s one line from the song you find at times can be stuck in your head? Or a line that you come back to?
‘She’s done done done done done done done done’ me and my friends always sing that to answer each others questions.
What can we expect from you in 2022? An album or an EP perhaps?...
I have some amazing songs up my sleeve that I will be releasing in 2022. I can say that my next one will be a super powerful ballad with crazy melodies and heartbreaking lyrics.
Lana Del Rey was one of the artists that sparked my love for lyrics. Listening to her music, I realized that songs can actually be poetry.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
The latest one would be The Weeknd - Dawn FM. I love the concept behind the album.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Pop, Powerful and Heartbreakingly true.
Best song of 2021?
Heartbreak Anthem by Galantis, Little Mix and David Guetta :)
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
My Neighbor Totoro (1988).
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die and The Weeknd - Kiss Land.
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
Untold festival in my hometown in Romania where i got to sing in front of 70000 people including all my besties and all the people who never believed in me.
Guilty music pleasure?
I don’t think of any music I love as guilty pleasure. If I love something I stand by it.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Don’t stress too much!!! Get out of your head and be present. This is advice I constantly give myself.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve known since I was 3 years old. It’s the most powerful intuition I’ve ever had and it’s been driving my every decision.
redruM is out now!