Let Arlissa's new video for "The Devil You Know" wash waves of zen over you — almost as clear as the ones that she swims in. The singer's visual, for the song off her debut EP, The Lovers, that dropped in February, is one of the most peaceful clips you'll see today, and also serves as the perfect accompaniment to the track's lush vocals that make you feel like everything will be alright — no matter how stressful the day.
Arlissa is a 28-year-old, German-born singer who got her start in the industry after appearing on Nas' "Hard To Love Somebody" back in 2012. After being named one of BBC's artists to watch in 2013, she released her first official single, "Sticks & Stones," that year. Since then, she's worked with tons of artists like writing for BTS' "Spring Day" and collaborating with British DJ Jonas Blue to create an EDM version of her song, "Hearts Ain't Gonna Lie."
After releasing an EP earlier this year, Arlissa is gearing up to share her debut album, The Broken Hearted, in the near future. While she prepares for then though, she's working the EP's songs into videos — with "The Devil You Know" being the latest visual taste of her artistry so far.
The video, shot in Hawaii during a time that Arlissa tells PAPER was for a healing trip, centers on divine feminine energy — something more important than ever, especially since recent jail releases and conservatorships seemingly paint the picture that female power doesn't matter. Arlissa, of course, shot this before these announcements happened, but the juxtaposition between vulnerability and power, shot through the lens of her swimming and baring her glowing skin, is more relevant than ever.
As she sings about pursuing the unknown, you can feel the anxiety and uncertainness. But Arlissa slowly sheds her shell and gets physical with the world, prepping viewers for the next exciting chapter in her life — which, according to her, is well on the way with "new music coming and so many more stories I can't wait for you all to hear," as she says.
Watch the PAPER premiere of Arlissa's video for "The Devil You Know" and learn more about the visual, below.
What's the significance of the filming location?
I originally wanted to go to Hawaii as a healing solo trip for myself. I had just got out of a really intense period of time and wanted to move forward with new cleansing energy. I was recommended a location by a friend and as soon as I saw it I just knew I had to shoot a video out there. It ended up being a healing trip of a different kind — filled with a lot of love, friendship and creativity.
What was the collaborative process like between you and the director?
The director, Emily Fiander, is a wonderful friend of mine. We met a few years ago; I've always felt she understood me and knew ways to help me express the divine feminine energy I have inside. It really does hit different working with the people you love.
How do you feel the video treatment complements the song?
The vulnerability mixed with moments of strength back to vulnerability again, and the beauty in all of it. I feel like that's life; one minute we feel incredibly confident and sure of ourselves, the next, suddenly we're struggling to find our way back to faith. Growth isn't linear; even when we fumble, we learn so much in the art of getting back up.
Lyrically, what is this song about for you?
The song for me is about breaking out of my comfort zone. I wrote it with my dear friend and incredible artist named Toulouse. We were talking about how easy it is to stay comfortable with what you know and the strength it takes to walk blindly into the unknown. There was a period in my life when we made this song that I really just didn't know the answers. Honestly, I never know and I most likely never will — and that's life.
How is this release reflective of where you're at as an artist right now, and where you're going?
For me, the song reflects this incredible time of new beginnings. It's the last song on the EP and in a way the end of a beautiful chapter. I've never felt more free and in tune with myself than now and it really took this song to get there. There's so much new music coming and so many more stories I can't wait for you all to hear. Watch this space.
Stream The Lovers EP by Arlissa, below.