Rebecca Phillips is a bold artist who enjoys confronting the obscure and out-front uncomfortable in her music. FMS caught up with the London-based creative, to get the story behind the new video for latest single ‘Silicone Skin’, which plays with the human obsession for technological progression, juxtaposed with our innate and inevitable vulnerability.
‘Silicone Skin’ is a self-directed video that kicks off an onslaught of releases for Rebecca this year. The tale follows a character’s journey to construct an eerily perfect clone of her ex. Co-produced with Christian Mac, the track explores an experimental take on modern R&B. “I’ve been looking at ideas surrounding the hybrid; the world we live in makes us feel like anything is possible but with that comes a nihilism that I’ve been compelled to investigate in ‘Silicone Skin’. Ultimately I feel like whatever happens with technological innovations we will always be confronted by our own mortality and maybe more importantly our own fragile psychological make up.”
“The track explores the simultaneous euphoria and alienation that ensues when technology gifts humans with new and ambitious parameters of agency: in ‘Silicone Skin’ the character makes a clone of her ex.”
What’s the story behind ‘Silicone Skin’?
“So, the track explores the simultaneous euphoria and alienation that ensues when technology gifts humans with new and ambitious parameters of agency: in ‘Silicone Skin’ the character makes a clone of her ex.”
What were your creative references for the video production?
“My references come from consciously daydreaming, so they are hard to pinpoint specifically. But I like visual art a lot and I’m sure that helped me to find a way into the othering universe of the characters and the lab of dysfunction that seemed to emerge as a result of this process.”
What’s your biggest fear to do with technological advances?
“I think we will make ourselves extinct, as we will trust technology to solve all our problems, yet we will lose control of the systems we create because of our collective hubris coalescing with our tendency to gravitate towards short termist solutions to complex problems, all underpinned by our malaise. I believe all of this is already happening, our whole conception of privacy changes fundamentally year upon year. I always think of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club when the protagonist states: ‘The things you own end up owning you.’”
What are your other creative outlets, besides music?
“Filmmaking, I guess redirecting my music videos and I’ve also made a selection of docu-esque short films as well. I also write plays and I come from an acting background and love that too.”
Who or what is inspiring you right now?
“I saw a really great video called Silent Madness, it’s all over the internet, it was a collaboration between a few artists, working in a range of fields and that really struck me. I’ve also been watching and listening to the content on Somerset House studios website, I’ve found that really inspiring and also listening to Nabihah Iqbal’s fortnightly radio show has been great for me, as she exposes me to a lot of music that I might not have found without her. I love music with non-western scales.”
What are you working on at the moment?
“I’m experimenting with making songs using my mouth, pushing how far that can go lol and I’m planning how to make interesting structures that can be used in videos and eventually for performance.”
Any exciting collaborations in the pipeline?
“I’m excited to be working with an architect on a few bits. I’m also looking forward to some sweet remixes I have coming out.”
What can we expect from your next release?
“This cycle of releases, kicking off with ‘Silicone Skin’ explores human (nature) vs the artificial and ultimately ideas of ‘The Hybrid’. So it will be more of that but the next track is aptly set firmly in the summer season. Our associations with summer are different this year of course what with the pandemic.”
What is keeping you sane during lockdown?
“Running and head splitting music.”
Any plans for the post-Coronavirus world?
“I don’t know if there will be a post-Coronavirus world, but I want to go dancing and go and work and play in some other countries when it’s safe to do so! In terms of my project I’m aiming to create some very interactive, holistic live experiences for people.”
‘Silicone Skin’ is out now.