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Video Premiere: KALI’s “You’ll Never Know”

Without much effort, as thoroughly described in her biography, “KALI captures the variety of Middle Eastern music at a difficult crossroad, in which ancient music and traditions are disappearing under the demands of modern assimilation, seen both in the capitalist West and the religiously extremist Middle East. As a Persian artist, she works to promote the respect for the layered history of music and art in the Middle East and draw Western attention to these fast disappearing traditions.” Read further to find out the reasoning behind her message and purpose.


How long have you been working on the release of this song? How did you come to know GrungeCake?

It took me a while. I started working on these songs when I was living in Paris, back in 2012. Initially it was just a pile of ideas, lying around for three years and waiting to be sequenced. Like tons of film footage that doesn’t have a meaning until it’s cut and arranged. During these three years, I worked with a lot of musicians and producers until it all became something I could call a balanced listening experience.

Usually, I say “When the beat sounds evil, it probably is.” Aside from the obvious Middle Eastern flair, how has this specific sound correlated to the message you’re delivering to your audience? Would you say your message is a dark one?

Yes it is, and I love the darkness. Darkness can be breathtakingly beautiful, just as light can be horribly grotesque. I think there is a deeper truth in the darkness which is also the generator of any form of personal transformation. My message is very simple, live and let life and I suppose that’s why I’m fundamentally against religion or any kind of totalitarian ideology, which claims to have all the answers. Equality leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences, which in fact is a fundamental necessity for a healthy society. Religion doesn’t allow this type of equality.

What are you saying during the chorus of the song?

I’m saying “You’ll never know because.” It’s related to religion and its sly tendency to make people believe that there is an afterlife or even worse, that there is a master plan for each of us whether one is aware of it or not.

For those who might not be fully informed of your reasoning, culturally or otherwise, what is the significance of what you’re wearing?

My style, just like my music, is related to my Middle Eastern background. A lot of those ancient traditions and music are disappearing due to either the demands of modern assimilation or the rise of Islamic extremism. I would like to promote the respect for culture, art and music from this region and even reinterpret it in my own way.

I heard that you’re the team (or one-woman army) behind this video. Is this true? Walk us through that process. What exactly did you do, production and post-production wise?

We knew that it was going to be a tremendous amount of chroma key green screen with tracking markers, a lot of 3-D environments, and a lot of compositing. A few years ago, it would have been impossible to make this video as an amateur, which in fact I am. But the times have changed and there are new possibilities and small software developers like Carrara or Daz3d, which offer almost all the functionality that the most expensive types of software in the industry offer, at a fraction of the cost and they are also very user-friendly. It took me about six months to get into it by watching almost every tutorial I could find online. Besides the 3D environments and animation, everything else was done in After Effects and of course shot on chroma key green screen. Luca Leinemann, a young Berlin-based video artist, shot the chroma key green screen footage and did the lighting and Nathan Baker helped me a lot with After Effects. I’m still working on my AE skills.

What’s next for you?

There are a few collaborations, among other with Australian producer Swick and Italian producers Milangeles and Ckrono & Slesh in the works right now, but for the most part — musically I’m focusing on the next KALI releases and videos.


GrungeCake

Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is part of the Complex Day Ones, an exclusive community to help make the Complex experiences even better.