“hello kitty with a knife.” The tongue-in-cheek line reads as REI AMI’s succinct Spotify bio, but, when given a moment’s thought, it may just be the best way to describe the rising artist’s music. It is an encapsulated mood shift. A sonic embodiment of us at our highest highs mirrored against those moments we feel like less than nothing.
REI AMI brings this duality to life in her music video for “Dictator.” Opening on the Seoul-born, Maryland-bred artist plotting world domination with an unflinching flow, the first chapter of “Dictator” is pure, delicious spite. And then, without losing her footing, the track suddenly cuts, dipping down into a somber bedroom-pop number centered around heartbreak and uncertainty.
The complementing visual balances these two sides of REI AMI in vivid fashion. The vengeful and assured REI AMI is painted in red, burning down houses and taking pretty boys hostage. The pensive REI AMI is chilled in a soft blue, held captive by a mysterious creature and overwhelming deluge of inner-turmoil. REI AMI spoke further on the “Dictator” video, sharing,
“As you can see, the first half of the video is red while the second half is blue. I don’t know if it’s just me but I associate songs and moods with colors… to me, red represents power, anger, and revenge while blue represents sadness, loneliness, and emptiness. And when I was writing the first half of the song back in July, I kept seeing red in my head so it was imperative that these colors were emphasized in the video.”
At no point in “Dictator,” the video or the song, do the sudden mood or visual shifts ever feel disjointed. They may be wildly disparate but they seek to inform the duality of the human condition, of the artist we call REI AMI.
Watch the “Dictator” video below: