18 year-old British wunderkind Amber-Simone’s voice is a massive force. At times she sounds tinged with a Michael Jackson voraciousness, at others she weaves through the dark corridors of the Weeknd’s most sensual meanderings. But on her breathtaking new single “I’m Feeling High” Simone has become more difficult to compare than ever.
It’s telling that the opening scene of the self-produced video is the famous Red Bull supersonic free fall from the edge of space. How much higher could you get? But, the intention throughout the clip is not so much spatial dimension as it is zoning in on the highs that life affords us. Be it sex, power, money, religion or just the dance-worship at a music festival.
Simone juxtaposes all these images in the span of three minutes. By creating a video collage of clips snipped from YouTube videos, the effect is egalitarian and all encompassing. We see an actress controlling a stage with the flick of her wrist, immediately followed by a street rush of paparazzi. A child seizures in a hospital bed, and a man overcome with devotion in a church seizes up and yells in tongues.
She doesn’t shy from the brutal side of humanity’s addiction to our highs. There is, of course, images of needles and blood, smoke and snorting. But, the most effective juxtapositions occur without chemical substances. Near the end of the video, there is military footage of buildings bombed, protests turned violent and even a neo-nazi ceremony. Throughout the footage, the intention becomes clear: everyone’s chasing something, what’s your high?
Amber-Simone performs at BBC’s Radio 1’s Big Weekend on 23rd May in Norwich, UK
Words: Ziv Biton
Listen to two more Amber-Simone tracks below: