Photo: Mekhi Marcelino
To regress back in time and warn ourselves of the dangers the future may present us is a common infatuation. Throughout history, artists have explored this concept in films, novels, poetry, and so on, but often the conclusion to these ideations is the same - moving forward is an inevitable while true growth and acceptance of the lessons our hardships offer us, lies within.
Rising indie R&B artist and Bay Area native Samaria explores this concept in the visual companion for recent single "Out the Way." Lyrically, the song chronicles the story of a tumultuous relationship, with lines such as "Now I have nothing left to give / Hand out you still expecting shit" and "No, I'm not what you need so I'll get out the way / Any bit of love I get you take away," hitting listeners with a familiar feeling. That even in the face of love, moving on from toxicity and valuing oneself triumphs over a bond that is breaking you.
In the music video for "Out the Way," Samaria draws inspiration from the 2012 science fiction action-thriller, Looper. "There's this movie called Looper, it's about this hitman from the future who is hired by the mob to go back in time and wipe out people who cause them problems in their timeline. I used to watch that movie and wish that I could do the same thing… go back in time and warn a younger me to do things differently or else the world will explode or something. Even if it's a lie, I'd tell myself whatever I had to so that I could free myself from being stuck forever. I just wanted to show a visual representation of how sometimes we are the only things stopping ourselves from moving forward," shares Samaria.
In the visual, Samaria is pictured walking into a barren warehouse, watching herself on various television screens, coming to peace with the conclusion that moving on is her only option. Directed by Kee Hwang, whose resume includes collaborations with the likes of Khalid, Jesse Reyez, Victoria Monét, and more, Hwang plays will a cool color palette of deep reds, purples, and blues, a backdrop that mirrors the emotional yet sanguine mood of the song. With a touch of surrealist energy, Samaria is left to watch elements of herself unfolding, allowing for a blissful experience and the perfect aesthetic to match her pristine vocals.
A competitive contender in the future of R&B, Samaria's songwriting is both mesmerizing yet accessible. Inspired by the music of which she was raised on, Samaria incorporates nostalgic nods to '90s and '00s R&B while embarking on modern sonic planes, mixing enchanting lo-fi beats with live instrumentation.
Watch the "Out the Way" video below: